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Sample records for leut-desipramine structure reveals

  1. Revealing digital documents. Concealed structures in data

    CERN Document Server

    Voß, Jakob

    2011-01-01

    This short paper gives an introduction to a research project to analyze how digital documents are structured and described. Using a phenomenological approach, this research will reveal common patterns that are used in data, independent from the particular technology in which the data is available. The ability to identify these patterns, on different levels of description, is important for several applications in digital libraries. A better understanding of data structuring will not only help to better capture singular characteristics of data by metadata, but will also recover intended structures of digital objects, beyond long term preservation.

  2. Structural unsafety revealed by failure databases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terwel, K.C.; Boot, W.; Nelisse, M.

    2014-01-01

    After several major structural incidents in the Netherlands, such as the collapse of five balconies in Maastricht in 2001 resulting in two fatalities, various initiatives have been started to improve structural safety. Research studies were initiated on the characteristics, causes and consequences

  3. Structural unsafety revealed by failure databases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terwel, K.; Boot, W.; Nelisse, M.

    2014-01-01

    After several major structural incidents in the Netherlands, such as the collapse of five balconies in Maastricht in 2001 resulting in two fatalities, various initiatives have been started to improve structural safety. Research studies were initiated on the characteristics, causes and consequences o

  4. Revealing how network structure affects accuracy of link prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jin-Xuan; Zhang, Xiao-Dong

    2017-08-01

    Link prediction plays an important role in network reconstruction and network evolution. The network structure affects the accuracy of link prediction, which is an interesting problem. In this paper we use common neighbors and the Gini coefficient to reveal the relation between them, which can provide a good reference for the choice of a suitable link prediction algorithm according to the network structure. Moreover, the statistical analysis reveals correlation between the common neighbors index, Gini coefficient index and other indices to describe the network structure, such as Laplacian eigenvalues, clustering coefficient, degree heterogeneity, and assortativity of network. Furthermore, a new method to predict missing links is proposed. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm yields better prediction accuracy and robustness to the network structure than existing currently used methods for a variety of real-world networks.

  5. Structure of mega-hemocyanin reveals protein origami in snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatsogiannis, Christos; Hofnagel, Oliver; Markl, Jürgen; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-01-06

    Mega-hemocyanin is a 13.5 MDa oxygen transporter found in the hemolymph of some snails. Similar to typical gastropod hemocyanins, it is composed of 400 kDa building blocks but has additional 550 kDa subunits. Together, they form a large, completely filled cylinder. The structural basis for this highly complex protein packing is not known so far. Here, we report the electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structure of mega-hemocyanin complexes from two different snail species. The structures reveal that mega-hemocyanin is composed of flexible building blocks that differ in their conformation, but not in their primary structure. Like a protein origami, these flexible blocks are optimally packed, implementing different local symmetries and pseudosymmetries. A comparison between the two structures suggests a surprisingly simple evolutionary mechanism leading to these large oxygen transporters.

  6. An alternative RNA polymerase I structure reveals a dimer hinge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostrewa, Dirk; Kuhn, Claus-D; Engel, Christoph; Cramer, Patrick

    2015-09-01

    RNA polymerase I (Pol I) is the central, 14-subunit enzyme that synthesizes the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) precursor in eukaryotic cells. The recent crystal structure of Pol I at 2.8 Å resolution revealed two novel elements: the `expander' in the active-centre cleft and the `connector' that mediates Pol I dimerization [Engel et al. (2013), Nature (London), 502, 650-655]. Here, a Pol I structure in an alternative crystal form that was solved by molecular replacement using the original atomic Pol I structure is reported. The resulting alternative structure lacks the expander but still shows an expanded active-centre cleft. The neighbouring Pol I monomers form a homodimer with a relative orientation distinct from that observed previously, establishing the connector as a hinge between Pol I monomers.

  7. Maps of random walks on complex networks reveal community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosvall, Martin; Bergstrom, Carl T

    2008-01-29

    To comprehend the multipartite organization of large-scale biological and social systems, we introduce an information theoretic approach that reveals community structure in weighted and directed networks. We use the probability flow of random walks on a network as a proxy for information flows in the real system and decompose the network into modules by compressing a description of the probability flow. The result is a map that both simplifies and highlights the regularities in the structure and their relationships. We illustrate the method by making a map of scientific communication as captured in the citation patterns of >6,000 journals. We discover a multicentric organization with fields that vary dramatically in size and degree of integration into the network of science. Along the backbone of the network-including physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine-information flows bidirectionally, but the map reveals a directional pattern of citation from the applied fields to the basic sciences.

  8. Revealing the hidden structural phases of FeRh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jinwoong; Ramesh, R.; Kioussis, Nicholas

    2016-11-01

    Ab initio electronic structure calculations reveal that tetragonal distortion has a dramatic effect on the relative stability of the various magnetic structures (C-, A-, G-, A'-AFM, and FM) of FeRh giving rise to a wide range of novel stable/metastable structures and magnetic phase transitions between these states. We predict that the cubic G-AFM structure, which was believed thus far to be the ground state, is metastable and that the tetragonally expanded G-AFM is the stable structure. The low energy barrier separating these states suggests phase coexistence at room temperature. We propose an A'-AFM phase to be the global ground state among all magnetic phases which arises from the strain-induced tuning of the exchange interactions. The results elucidate the underlying mechanism for the recent experimental findings of electric-field control of magnetic phase transition driven via tetragonal strain. The magnetic phase transitions open interesting prospects for exploiting strain engineering for the next-generation memory devices.

  9. Ternary structure reveals mechanism of a membrane diacylglycerol kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dianfan; Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Sansom, Mark S. P.; Keogh, Aaron; Vogeley, Lutz; Howe, Nicole; Lyons, Joseph A.; Aragao, David; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Basu, Shibom; Grotjohann, Ingo; Kupitz, Christopher; Rendek, Kimberley; Weierstall, Uwe; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Cherezov, Vadim; Liu, Wei; Bandaru, Sateesh; English, Niall J.; Gati, Cornelius; Barty, Anton; Yefanov, Oleksandr; Chapman, Henry N.; Diederichs, Kay; Messerschmidt, Marc; Boutet, Sébastien; Williams, Garth J.; Marvin Seibert, M.; Caffrey, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Diacylglycerol kinase catalyses the ATP-dependent conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid in the plasma membrane of Escherichia coli. The small size of this integral membrane trimer, which has 121 residues per subunit, means that available protein must be used economically to craft three catalytic and substrate-binding sites centred about the membrane/cytosol interface. How nature has accomplished this extraordinary feat is revealed here in a crystal structure of the kinase captured as a ternary complex with bound lipid substrate and an ATP analogue. Residues, identified as essential for activity by mutagenesis, decorate the active site and are rationalized by the ternary structure. The γ-phosphate of the ATP analogue is positioned for direct transfer to the primary hydroxyl of the lipid whose acyl chain is in the membrane. A catalytic mechanism for this unique enzyme is proposed. The active site architecture shows clear evidence of having arisen by convergent evolution.

  10. Dramatic changes in electronic structure revealed by fractionally charged nuclei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, Aron J. [Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Rd., University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1EW (United Kingdom); Mori-Sánchez, Paula, E-mail: paula.mori@uam.es [Departamento de Química, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2014-01-28

    Discontinuous changes in the electronic structure upon infinitesimal changes to the Hamiltonian are demonstrated. These are revealed in one and two electron molecular systems by full configuration interaction (FCI) calculations when the realm of the nuclear charge is extended to be fractional. FCI electron densities in these systems show dramatic changes in real space and illustrate the transfer, hopping, and removal of electrons. This is due to the particle nature of electrons seen in stretched systems and is a manifestation of an energy derivative discontinuity at constant number of electrons. Dramatic errors of density functional theory densities are seen in real space as this physics is missing from currently used approximations. The movements of electrons in these simple systems encapsulate those in real physical processes, from chemical reactions to electron transport and pose a great challenge for the development of new electronic structure methods.

  11. Dramatic changes in electronic structure revealed by fractionally charged nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Aron J.; Mori-Sánchez, Paula

    2014-01-01

    Discontinuous changes in the electronic structure upon infinitesimal changes to the Hamiltonian are demonstrated. These are revealed in one and two electron molecular systems by full configuration interaction (FCI) calculations when the realm of the nuclear charge is extended to be fractional. FCI electron densities in these systems show dramatic changes in real space and illustrate the transfer, hopping, and removal of electrons. This is due to the particle nature of electrons seen in stretched systems and is a manifestation of an energy derivative discontinuity at constant number of electrons. Dramatic errors of density functional theory densities are seen in real space as this physics is missing from currently used approximations. The movements of electrons in these simple systems encapsulate those in real physical processes, from chemical reactions to electron transport and pose a great challenge for the development of new electronic structure methods.

  12. Towards revealing the structure of bacterial inclusion bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei

    2009-01-01

    Protein aggregation is a widely observed phenomenon in human diseases, biopharmaceutical production, and biological research. Protein aggregates are generally classified as highly ordered, such as amyloid fibrils, or amorphous, such as bacterial inclusion bodies. Amyloid fibrils are elongated filaments with diameters of 6-12 nm, they are comprised of residue-specific cross-beta structure, and display characteristic properties, such as binding with amyloid-specific dyes. Amyloid fibrils are associated with dozens of human pathological conditions, including Alzheimer disease and prion diseases. Distinguished from amyloid fibrils, bacterial inclusion bodies display apparent amorphous morphology. Inclusion bodies are formed during high-level recombinant protein production, and formation of inclusion bodies is a major concern in biotechnology. Despite of the distinctive morphological difference, bacterial inclusion bodies have been found to have some amyloid-like properties, suggesting that they might contain structures similar to amyloid-like fibrils. Recent structural data further support this hypothesis, and this review summarizes the latest progress towards revealing the structural details of bacterial inclusion bodies.

  13. Nicotinamide riboside kinase structures reveal new pathways to NAD+.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempel, Wolfram; Rabeh, Wael M; Bogan, Katrina L; Belenky, Peter; Wojcik, Marzena; Seidle, Heather F; Nedyalkova, Lyudmila; Yang, Tianle; Sauve, Anthony A; Park, Hee-Won; Brenner, Charles

    2007-10-02

    The eukaryotic nicotinamide riboside kinase (Nrk) pathway, which is induced in response to nerve damage and promotes replicative life span in yeast, converts nicotinamide riboside to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) by phosphorylation and adenylylation. Crystal structures of human Nrk1 bound to nucleoside and nucleotide substrates and products revealed an enzyme structurally similar to Rossmann fold metabolite kinases and allowed the identification of active site residues, which were shown to be essential for human Nrk1 and Nrk2 activity in vivo. Although the structures account for the 500-fold discrimination between nicotinamide riboside and pyrimidine nucleosides, no enzyme feature was identified to recognize the distinctive carboxamide group of nicotinamide riboside. Indeed, nicotinic acid riboside is a specific substrate of human Nrk enzymes and is utilized in yeast in a novel biosynthetic pathway that depends on Nrk and NAD+ synthetase. Additionally, nicotinic acid riboside is utilized in vivo by Urh1, Pnp1, and Preiss-Handler salvage. Thus, crystal structures of Nrk1 led to the identification of new pathways to NAD+.

  14. Nicotinamide riboside kinase structures reveal new pathways to NAD+.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfram Tempel

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The eukaryotic nicotinamide riboside kinase (Nrk pathway, which is induced in response to nerve damage and promotes replicative life span in yeast, converts nicotinamide riboside to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ by phosphorylation and adenylylation. Crystal structures of human Nrk1 bound to nucleoside and nucleotide substrates and products revealed an enzyme structurally similar to Rossmann fold metabolite kinases and allowed the identification of active site residues, which were shown to be essential for human Nrk1 and Nrk2 activity in vivo. Although the structures account for the 500-fold discrimination between nicotinamide riboside and pyrimidine nucleosides, no enzyme feature was identified to recognize the distinctive carboxamide group of nicotinamide riboside. Indeed, nicotinic acid riboside is a specific substrate of human Nrk enzymes and is utilized in yeast in a novel biosynthetic pathway that depends on Nrk and NAD+ synthetase. Additionally, nicotinic acid riboside is utilized in vivo by Urh1, Pnp1, and Preiss-Handler salvage. Thus, crystal structures of Nrk1 led to the identification of new pathways to NAD+.

  15. Structural information revealed by the dispersion of ADC with frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hua; Jiang, Xiaoyu; Wang, Feng; Xu, Junzhong; Gore, John C

    2015-11-01

    Diffusion MRI provides a non-invasive means to characterize tissue microstructure at varying length scales. Temporal diffusion spectra reveal how the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) varies with frequency. When measured using oscillating gradient spin echo sequences, the manner in which ADC disperses with gradient frequency (which is related to the reciprocal of diffusion time) provides information on the characteristic dimensions of restricting structures within the medium. For example, the dispersion of ADC with oscillating gradient frequency (ΔfADC) has been shown to correlate with axon sizes in white matter and provide novel tissue contrast in images of mouse hippocampus and cerebellum. However, despite increasing interest in applying frequency-dependent ADC to derive novel information on tissue, the interpretations of ADC spectra are not always clear. In this study, the relation between ADC spectra and restricting dimensions are further elucidated and used to derive novel image contrast related to the sizes of intrinsic microstructures.

  16. Revealing alteration of membrane structures during ischema using impedance spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela Gheorghiu

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Alterations of membrane structure and function are essential characteristics of cells undergoing ischemia. Noninvasive monitoring of tissue alterations during ischemia and the estimation of the reversibility domain (corresponding to organ capability to fully recover its functions after shifting back to normal blood perfusion are important for biomedical applications allowing better time management during surgical interventions, especially in organ transplantation. Due to it’s capability to reveal inhomogeneities, as well as it’s noninvasive character, impedance spectroscopy was used for continuous monitoring of the progression of excised tissue samples during ischemia. We have developed a fast, noninvasive, automated method for quantitative analysis of impedance spectra of tissue samples, capable of revealing, through characteristic parameters (dispersion amplitudes, time constants and distribution parameters membrane based microscopic processes like the closure ofgap-junctions (a characteristic of the early alterations of ischemic tissues in the reversibility phase. Microscopic and equivalent circuit modeling was used to probe the effect of closure of cell connections and of changes in electrical properties of cell constituents on impedance spectra. We have developed a normalizing procedure emphasizing the pattern of ischemic alterations and enabling the comparison of different data sets.

  17. Random field model reveals structure of the protein recombinational landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip A Romero

    Full Text Available We are interested in how intragenic recombination contributes to the evolution of proteins and how this mechanism complements and enhances the diversity generated by random mutation. Experiments have revealed that proteins are highly tolerant to recombination with homologous sequences (mutation by recombination is conservative; more surprisingly, they have also shown that homologous sequence fragments make largely additive contributions to biophysical properties such as stability. Here, we develop a random field model to describe the statistical features of the subset of protein space accessible by recombination, which we refer to as the recombinational landscape. This model shows quantitative agreement with experimental results compiled from eight libraries of proteins that were generated by recombining gene fragments from homologous proteins. The model reveals a recombinational landscape that is highly enriched in functional sequences, with properties dominated by a large-scale additive structure. It also quantifies the relative contributions of parent sequence identity, crossover locations, and protein fold to the tolerance of proteins to recombination. Intragenic recombination explores a unique subset of sequence space that promotes rapid molecular diversification and functional adaptation.

  18. Artemin Crystal Structure Reveals Insights into Heparan Sulfate Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvian,L.; Jin, P.; Carmillo, P.; Boriack-Sjodin, P.; Pelletier, C.; Rushe, M.; Gong, B.; Sah, D.; Pepinsky, B.; Rossomando, A.

    2006-01-01

    Artemin (ART) promotes the growth of developing peripheral neurons by signaling through a multicomponent receptor complex comprised of a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor (cRET) and a specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked co-receptor (GFR{alpha}3). Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) signals through a similar ternary complex but requires heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for full activity. HSPG has not been demonstrated as a requirement for ART signaling. We crystallized ART in the presence of sulfate and solved its structure by isomorphous replacement. The structure reveals ordered sulfate anions bound to arginine residues in the pre-helix and amino-terminal regions that were organized in a triad arrangement characteristic of heparan sulfate. Three residues in the pre-helix were singly or triply substituted with glutamic acid, and the resulting proteins were shown to have reduced heparin-binding affinity that is partly reflected in their ability to activate cRET. This study suggests that ART binds HSPGs and identifies residues that may be involved in HSPG binding.

  19. Fine-scaled human genetic structure revealed by SNP microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Jinchuan; Watkins, W Scott; Witherspoon, David J; Zhang, Yuhua; Guthery, Stephen L; Thara, Rangaswamy; Mowry, Bryan J; Bulayeva, Kazima; Weiss, Robert B; Jorde, Lynn B

    2009-05-01

    We report an analysis of more than 240,000 loci genotyped using the Affymetrix SNP microarray in 554 individuals from 27 worldwide populations in Africa, Asia, and Europe. To provide a more extensive and complete sampling of human genetic variation, we have included caste and tribal samples from two states in South India, Daghestanis from eastern Europe, and the Iban from Malaysia. Consistent with observations made by Charles Darwin, our results highlight shared variation among human populations and demonstrate that much genetic variation is geographically continuous. At the same time, principal components analyses reveal discernible genetic differentiation among almost all identified populations in our sample, and in most cases, individuals can be clearly assigned to defined populations on the basis of SNP genotypes. All individuals are accurately classified into continental groups using a model-based clustering algorithm, but between closely related populations, genetic and self-classifications conflict for some individuals. The 250K data permitted high-level resolution of genetic variation among Indian caste and tribal populations and between highland and lowland Daghestani populations. In particular, upper-caste individuals from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh form one defined group, lower-caste individuals from these two states form another, and the tribal Irula samples form a third. Our results emphasize the correlation of genetic and geographic distances and highlight other elements, including social factors that have contributed to population structure.

  20. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Patrick E; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E

    2015-07-21

    Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation.

  1. Revealing structural effects: electrochemical reactions of butanols on platinum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, José L; Souto, Ricardo M; Fernández-Mérida, Luis; Pastor, Elena

    2002-05-01

    Spectroelectrochemical studies on the reactivity of butanol isomers on Pt electrodes in perchloric acid medium led to the observation of structural effects that result from the different arrangements of atoms in the organic molecules. The use of differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) to detect volatile products showed that all four isomers react on the electrode, though different product yields were observed for each compound. In spite of the differences in the electrochemical behaviour of the butanol isomers, a series of general processes accounts for the results obtained. The formation of strongly adsorbed residues by a dehydration process leading to the formation of a C=C bond was proposed for all isomers. Electroreduction of the adsorbates produces C(4) and C(3) alkanes, and the latter reveal the existence of a fragmentation process. The C(4) hydrocarbons can be formed by hydrogenation of these residues and by hydrogenolysis of alcohol molecules in the bulk solution which react at the electrode with adsorbed hydrogen. On the other hand, CO(2) is formed during electrooxidation of the adsorbed species. Partial-oxidation products containing a carbonyl group were detected from 0.2 M solutions of 1-butanol, isobutyl alcohol and sec-butyl alcohol. The tertiary alcohol tert-butyl alcohol only reacts in its adsorbed state.

  2. Population Structure in Naegleria fowleri as Revealed by Microsatellite Markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coupat-Goutaland, Bénédicte; Régoudis, Estelle; Besseyrias, Matthieu; Mularoni, Angélique; Binet, Marie; Herbelin, Pascaline; Pélandakis, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Naegleria sp. is a free living amoeba belonging to the Heterolobosea class. Over 40 species of Naegleria were identified and recovered worldwide in different habitats such as swimming pools, freshwater lakes, soil or dust. Among them, N. fowleri, is a human pathogen responsible for primary amoeboic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Around 300 cases were reported in 40 years worldwide but PAM is a fatal disease of the central nervous system with only 5% survival of infected patients. Since both pathogenic and non pathogenic species were encountered in the environment, detection and dispersal mode are crucial points in the fight against this pathogenic agent. Previous studies on identification and genotyping of N. fowleri strains were focused on RAPD analysis and on ITS sequencing and identified 5 variants: euro-american, south pacific, widespread, cattenom and chooz. Microsatellites are powerful markers in population genetics with broad spectrum of applications (such as paternity test, fingerprinting, genetic mapping or genetic structure analysis). They are characterized by a high degree of length polymorphism. The aim of this study was to genotype N. fowleri strains using microsatellites markers in order to track this population and to better understand its evolution. Six microsatellite loci and 47 strains from different geographical origins were used for this analysis. The microsatellite markers revealed a level of discrimination higher than any other marker used until now, enabling the identification of seven genetic groups, included in the five main genetic groups based on the previous RAPD and ITS analyses. This analysis also allowed us to go further in identifying private alleles highlighting intra-group variability. A better identification of the N. fowleri isolates could be done with this type of analysis and could allow a better tracking of the clinical and environmental N. fowleri strains.

  3. Population Structure in Naegleria fowleri as Revealed by Microsatellite Markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bénédicte Coupat-Goutaland

    Full Text Available Naegleria sp. is a free living amoeba belonging to the Heterolobosea class. Over 40 species of Naegleria were identified and recovered worldwide in different habitats such as swimming pools, freshwater lakes, soil or dust. Among them, N. fowleri, is a human pathogen responsible for primary amoeboic meningoencephalitis (PAM. Around 300 cases were reported in 40 years worldwide but PAM is a fatal disease of the central nervous system with only 5% survival of infected patients. Since both pathogenic and non pathogenic species were encountered in the environment, detection and dispersal mode are crucial points in the fight against this pathogenic agent. Previous studies on identification and genotyping of N. fowleri strains were focused on RAPD analysis and on ITS sequencing and identified 5 variants: euro-american, south pacific, widespread, cattenom and chooz. Microsatellites are powerful markers in population genetics with broad spectrum of applications (such as paternity test, fingerprinting, genetic mapping or genetic structure analysis. They are characterized by a high degree of length polymorphism. The aim of this study was to genotype N. fowleri strains using microsatellites markers in order to track this population and to better understand its evolution. Six microsatellite loci and 47 strains from different geographical origins were used for this analysis. The microsatellite markers revealed a level of discrimination higher than any other marker used until now, enabling the identification of seven genetic groups, included in the five main genetic groups based on the previous RAPD and ITS analyses. This analysis also allowed us to go further in identifying private alleles highlighting intra-group variability. A better identification of the N. fowleri isolates could be done with this type of analysis and could allow a better tracking of the clinical and environmental N. fowleri strains.

  4. Allophycocyanin and phycocyanin crystal structures reveal facets of phycobilisome assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marx, Ailie; Adir, Noam

    2013-03-01

    X-ray crystal structures of the isolated phycobiliprotein components of the phycobilisome have provided high resolution details to the description of this light harvesting complex at different levels of complexity and detail. The linker-independent assembly of trimers into hexamers in crystal lattices of previously determined structures has been observed in almost all of the phycocyanin (PC) and allophycocyanin (APC) structures available in the Protein Data Bank. In this paper we describe the X-ray crystal structures of PC and APC from Synechococcus elongatus sp. PCC 7942, PC from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and PC from Thermosynechococcus vulcanus crystallized in the presence of urea. All five structures are highly similar to other PC and APC structures on the levels of subunits, monomers and trimers. The Synechococcus APC forms a unique loose hexamer that may show the structural requirements for core assembly and rod attachment. While the Synechococcus PC assembles into the canonical hexamer, it does not further assemble into rods. Unlike most PC structures, the Synechocystis PC fails to form hexamers. Addition of low concentrations of urea to T. vulcanus PC inhibits this proteins propensity to form hexamers, resulting in a crystal lattice composed of trimers. The molecular source of these differences in assembly and their relevance to the phycobilisome structure is discussed.

  5. Structural diversity in bacterial ribosomes: mycobacterial 70S ribosome structure reveals novel features.

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    Manidip Shasmal

    Full Text Available Here we present analysis of a 3D cryo-EM map of the 70S ribosome from Mycobacterium smegmatis, a saprophytic cousin of the etiological agent of tuberculosis in humans, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In comparison with the 3D structures of other prokaryotic ribosomes, the density map of the M. smegmatis 70S ribosome reveals unique structural features and their relative orientations in the ribosome. Dramatic changes in the periphery due to additional rRNA segments and extra domains of some of the peripheral ribosomal proteins like S3, S5, S16, L17, L25, are evident. One of the most notable features appears in the large subunit near L1 stalk as a long helical structure next to helix 54 of the 23S rRNA. The sharp upper end of this structure is located in the vicinity of the mRNA exit channel. Although the M. smegmatis 70S ribosome possesses conserved core structure of bacterial ribosome, the new structural features, unveiled in this study, demonstrates diversity in the 3D architecture of bacterial ribosomes. We postulate that the prominent helical structure related to the 23S rRNA actively participates in the mechanisms of translation in mycobacteria.

  6. High resolution crystal structure of human β-glucuronidase reveals structural basis of lysosome targeting.

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    Md Imtaiyaz Hassan

    Full Text Available Human β-glucuronidase (GUS cleaves β-D-glucuronic acid residues from the non-reducing termini of glycosaminoglycan and its deficiency leads to mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPSVII. Here we report a high resolution crystal structure of human GUS at 1.7 Å resolution and present an extensive analysis of the structural features, unifying recent findings in the field of lysosome targeting and glycosyl hydrolases. The structure revealed several new details including a new glycan chain at Asn272, in addition to that previously observed at Asn173, and coordination of the glycan chain at Asn173 with Lys197 of the lysosomal targeting motif which is essential for phosphotransferase recognition. Analysis of the high resolution structure not only provided new insights into the structural basis for lysosomal targeting but showed significant differences between human GUS, which is medically important in its own right, and E. coli GUS, which can be selectively inhibited in the human gut to prevent prodrug activation and is also widely used as a reporter gene by plant biologists. Despite these differences, both human and E. coli GUS share a high structure homology in all three domains with most of the glycosyl hydrolases, suggesting that they all evolved from a common ancestral gene.

  7. Local structure of nanosized tungstates revealed by evolutionary algorithm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timoshenko, Janis; Anspoks, Andris; Kuzmin, Alexei [Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, Riga (Latvia); Kalinko, Alexandr [Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, Riga (Latvia); Synchrotron SOLEIL, l' Orme des Merisiers, Saint-Aubin, Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    2015-02-01

    Nanostructured tungstates, such as CoWO{sub 4} and CuWO{sub 4}, are very promising catalytic materials, particularly for photocatalytic oxidation of water. The high catalytic activity of tungstate nanoparticles partially is a result of their extremely small sizes, and, consequently, high surface-to-volume ratio. Therefore their properties depend strongly on the atomic structure, which differ significantly from that of the bulk material. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is a powerful technique to address the challenging problem of the local structure determination in nanomaterials. In order to fully exploit the structural information contained in X-ray absorption spectra, in this study we employ a novel evolutionary algorithm (EA) for the interpretation of the Co and Cu K-edges as well as the W L{sub 3}-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) of nanosized CoWO{sub 4} and CuWO{sub 4}. The combined EA-EXAFS approach and simultaneous analysis of the W L{sub 3} and Co(Cu) K-edge EXAFS spectra allowed us for the first time to obtain a 3D structure model of the tungstate nanoparticles and to explore in details the effect of size, temperature and transition metal type. (copyright 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  8. Phylogenetic clusters of rhizobia revealed by genome structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Junfang; LIU Guirong; ZHU Wanfu; ZHOU Yuguang; LIU Shulin

    2004-01-01

    Rhizobia, bacteria that fix atmospheric nitrogen, are important agricultural resources. In order to establish the evolutionary relationships among rhizobia isolated from different geographic regions and different plant hosts for systematic studies, we evaluated the use of physical structure of the rhizobial genomes as a phylogenetic marker to categorize these bacteria. In this work, we analyzed the features of genome structures of 64 rhizobial strains. These rhizobial strains were divided into 21 phylogenetic clusters according to the features of genome structures evaluated by the endonuclease I-CeuI. These clusters were supported by 16S rRNA comparisons and genomic sequences of four rhizobial strains, but they are largely different from those based on the current taxonomic scheme (except 16S rRNA).

  9. The structural basis of non-photochemical quenching is revealed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogdell, Richard J

    2006-02-01

    Light-harvesting complex II (LHCII, the major plant light-harvesting pigment-protein complex, efficiently harvests light-energy. However, if the incident light intensity is too high and photosynthesis becomes saturated, LHCII can switch into a quenching state that prevents photodamage. This important process is called non-photochemical quenching, or NPQ, and represents feedback control. Andrew Pascal et al. have recently proposed a detailed model of NPQ based upon the crystal structure of LHCII from spinach.

  10. Cellular structural biology as revealed by cryo-electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irobalieva, Rossitza N; Martins, Bruno; Medalia, Ohad

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the function of cellular machines requires a thorough analysis of the structural elements that underline their function. Electron microscopy (EM) has been pivotal in providing information about cellular ultrastructure, as well as macromolecular organization. Biological materials can be physically fixed by vitrification and imaged with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) in a close-to-native condition. Using this technique, one can acquire three-dimensional (3D) information about the macromolecular architecture of cells, depict unique cellular states and reconstruct molecular networks. Technical advances over the last few years, such as improved sample preparation and electron detection methods, have been instrumental in obtaining data with unprecedented structural details. This presents an exciting opportunity to explore the molecular architecture of both individual cells and multicellular organisms at nanometer to subnanometer resolution. In this Commentary, we focus on the recent developments and in situ applications of cryo-ET to cell and structural biology. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Multiscale structure of time series revealed by the monotony spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamoş, Călin

    2017-03-01

    Observation of complex systems produces time series with specific dynamics at different time scales. The majority of the existing numerical methods for multiscale analysis first decompose the time series into several simpler components and the multiscale structure is given by the properties of their components. We present a numerical method which describes the multiscale structure of arbitrary time series without decomposing them. It is based on the monotony spectrum defined as the variation of the mean amplitude of the monotonic segments with respect to the mean local time scale during successive averagings of the time series, the local time scales being the durations of the monotonic segments. The maxima of the monotony spectrum indicate the time scales which dominate the variations of the time series. We show that the monotony spectrum can correctly analyze a diversity of artificial time series and can discriminate the existence of deterministic variations at large time scales from the random fluctuations. As an application we analyze the multifractal structure of some hydrological time series.

  12. Clique topology reveals intrinsic geometric structure in neural correlations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti, Chad; Pastalkova, Eva; Curto, Carina; Itskov, Vladimir

    2015-11-03

    Detecting meaningful structure in neural activity and connectivity data is challenging in the presence of hidden nonlinearities, where traditional eigenvalue-based methods may be misleading. We introduce a novel approach to matrix analysis, called clique topology, that extracts features of the data invariant under nonlinear monotone transformations. These features can be used to detect both random and geometric structure, and depend only on the relative ordering of matrix entries. We then analyzed the activity of pyramidal neurons in rat hippocampus, recorded while the animal was exploring a 2D environment, and confirmed that our method is able to detect geometric organization using only the intrinsic pattern of neural correlations. Remarkably, we found similar results during nonspatial behaviors such as wheel running and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This suggests that the geometric structure of correlations is shaped by the underlying hippocampal circuits and is not merely a consequence of position coding. We propose that clique topology is a powerful new tool for matrix analysis in biological settings, where the relationship of observed quantities to more meaningful variables is often nonlinear and unknown.

  13. Clique topology reveals intrinsic geometric structure in neural correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti, Chad; Pastalkova, Eva; Curto, Carina; Itskov, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Detecting meaningful structure in neural activity and connectivity data is challenging in the presence of hidden nonlinearities, where traditional eigenvalue-based methods may be misleading. We introduce a novel approach to matrix analysis, called clique topology, that extracts features of the data invariant under nonlinear monotone transformations. These features can be used to detect both random and geometric structure, and depend only on the relative ordering of matrix entries. We then analyzed the activity of pyramidal neurons in rat hippocampus, recorded while the animal was exploring a 2D environment, and confirmed that our method is able to detect geometric organization using only the intrinsic pattern of neural correlations. Remarkably, we found similar results during nonspatial behaviors such as wheel running and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This suggests that the geometric structure of correlations is shaped by the underlying hippocampal circuits and is not merely a consequence of position coding. We propose that clique topology is a powerful new tool for matrix analysis in biological settings, where the relationship of observed quantities to more meaningful variables is often nonlinear and unknown. PMID:26487684

  14. Revealing the structure of the world airline network

    CERN Document Server

    Verma, Trivik; Herrmann, Hans J

    2014-01-01

    Resilience of most critical infrastructures against failure of elements that appear insignificant is usually taken for granted. The World Airline Network (WAN) is an infrastructure that reduces the geographical gap between societies, both small and large, and brings forth economic gains. With the extensive use of a publicly maintained data set that contains information about airports and alternative connections between these airports, we empirically reveal that the WAN is a redundant and resilient network for long distance air travel, but otherwise breaks down completely due to removal of short and apparently insignificant connections. These short range connections with moderate number of passengers and alternate flights are the connections that keep remote parts of the world accessible. It is surprising, insofar as there exists a highly resilient and strongly connected core consisting of a small fraction of airports (around 2.3%) together with an extremely fragile star-like periphery. Yet, in spite of their ...

  15. Characteristics of ripple structures revealed in OH airglow images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Li, Tao; Dou, Xiankang; Fang, Xin; Cao, Bing; She, Chiao-Yao; Nakamura, Takuji; Manson, Alan; Meek, Chris; Thorsen, Denise

    2017-03-01

    Small-scale ripple structures observed in OH airglow images are most likely induced by either dynamic instability due to large wind shear or convective instability due to superadiabatic lapse rate. Using the data set taken in the mesopause region with an OH all-sky imager at Yucca Ridge Field Station, Colorado (40.7°N, 104.9°W), from September 2003 to December 2005, we study the characteristics and seasonal variations of ripple structures. By analyzing the simultaneous background wind and temperature observed by the nearby sodium temperature/wind lidar at Fort Collins, Colorado (40.6°N, 105°W), and a nearby medium-frequency radar at Platteville, Colorado (40.2°N, 105.8°W), we are able to statistically study the possible relation between ripples and the background atmosphere conditions. Characteristics and seasonal variations of ripples are presented in detail in this study. The occurrence frequency of ripples exhibits clear seasonal variability, with peak in autumn. The occurrence of ripples shows a local time dependence, which is most likely associated with the solar tides. The lifetime and spatial scale of these ripples are typically 5-20 min and 5-10 km, respectively, and most of the ripples move preferentially either southward or northward. However, more than half of the observed ripples do not advect with background flow; they have higher Richardson numbers than those ripples that advect with background flow. It is possible that they are not instability features but wave structures that are hard to be distinguished from the real instability features.

  16. Band Structure Asymmetry of Bilayer Graphene Revealed by Infrared Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Z.Q.; Henriksen, E.A.; Jiang, Z.; Hao, Zhao; Martin, Michael C.; Kim, P.; Stormer, H.L.; Basov, Dimitri N.

    2008-12-10

    We report on infrared spectroscopy of bilayer graphene integrated in gated structures. We observe a significant asymmetry in the optical conductivity upon electrostatic doping of electrons and holes. We show that this finding arises from a marked asymmetry between the valence and conduction bands, which is mainly due to the inequivalence of the two sublattices within the graphene layer and the next-nearest-neighbor interlayer coupling. From the conductivity data, the energy difference of the two sublattices and the interlayer coupling energy are directly determined.

  17. How quantum bound states bounce and the structure it reveals

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Dean

    2010-01-01

    We investigate how quantum bound states bounce from a hard surface. Our analysis has applications to ab initio calculations of nuclear structure and elastic deformation, energy levels of excitons in semiconductor quantum dots and wells, and cold atomic few-body systems on optical lattices with sharp boundaries. We develop the general theory of elastic reflection for a composite body from a hard wall. On the numerical side we present universal results for two-body states and discuss ab initio calculations for general few-body systems. On the analytical side we derive a universal effective potential that gives the reflection scattering length for shallow two-body states.

  18. The interior structure of Ceres as revealed by surface topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Roger R.; Ermakov, Anton I.; Marchi, Simone; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Raymond, Carol A.; Hager, Bradford H.; Zuber, Maria T.; King, Scott D.; Bland, Michael T.; Cristina De Sanctis, Maria; Preusker, Frank; Park, Ryan S.; Russell, Christopher T.

    2017-10-01

    Ceres, the largest body in the asteroid belt (940 km diameter), provides a unique opportunity to study the interior structure of a volatile-rich dwarf planet. Variations in a planetary body's subsurface rheology and density affect the rate of topographic relaxation. Preferential attenuation of long wavelength topography (≥150 km) on Ceres suggests that the viscosity of its crust decreases with increasing depth. We present finite element (FE) geodynamical simulations of Ceres to identify the internal structures and compositions that best reproduce its topography as observed by the NASA Dawn mission. We infer that Ceres has a mechanically strong crust with maximum effective viscosity ∼1025 Pa s. Combined with density constraints, this rheology suggests a crustal composition of carbonates or phyllosilicates, water ice, and at least 30 volume percent (vol.%) low-density, high-strength phases most consistent with salt and/or clathrate hydrates. The inference of these crustal materials supports the past existence of a global ocean, consistent with the observed surface composition. Meanwhile, we infer that the uppermost ≥60 km of the silicate-rich mantle is mechanically weak with viscosity history that avoided igneous differentiation due to late accretion or efficient heat loss through hydrothermal processes.

  19. Predator-guided sampling reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Moline, Mark A

    2016-02-24

    We targeted a habitat used differentially by deep-diving, air-breathing predators to empirically sample their prey's distributions off southern California. Fine-scale measurements of the spatial variability of potential prey animals from the surface to 1,200 m were obtained using conventional fisheries echosounders aboard a surface ship and uniquely integrated into a deep-diving autonomous vehicle. Significant spatial variability in the size, composition, total biomass, and spatial organization of biota was evident over all spatial scales examined and was consistent with the general distribution patterns of foraging Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) observed in separate studies. Striking differences found in prey characteristics between regions at depth, however, did not reflect differences observed in surface layers. These differences in deep pelagic structure horizontally and relative to surface structure, absent clear physical differences, change our long-held views of this habitat as uniform. The revelation that animals deep in the water column are so spatially heterogeneous at scales from 10 m to 50 km critically affects our understanding of the processes driving predator-prey interactions, energy transfer, biogeochemical cycling, and other ecological processes in the deep sea, and the connections between the productive surface mixed layer and the deep-water column.

  20. Microbial community structure of Arctic seawater as revealed by pyrosequencing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yang; WANG Zhen; LIN Xuezheng

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the microbial community structure of seawater in (ICE-1) and out (FUBIAO) of the pack ice zone in the Arctic region. Approximate 10 L seawater was filtrated by 0.2 μm Whatman nuclepore filters and the environmental genomic DNA was extracted. We conducted a detailed census of microbial communities by pyrosequencing. Analysis of the microbial community structures indicated that these two samples had high bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic diversity. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the two dominant members of the bacterioplankton community in both samples, and their relative abundance were 51.29% and 35.39%, 72.95%and 23.21%, respectively. Euryarchaeota was the most abundant archaeal phylum, and the relative abundance was nearly up to 100% in FUBIAO and 60% in ICE-1. As for the eukaryotes, no_rank_Eukaryota, Arthropoda and no_rank_Metazoa were the most abundant groups in Sample FUBIAO, accounting for 85.29% of the total reads. The relative abundance of the most abundant phylum in Sample ICE-1, no_rank_Eukaryota and no_rank_Metazoa, was up to 90.69% of the total reads. Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were the top three abundant classes in the two samples at the bacterial class level. There were also differences in the top ten abundant bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic OTUs at the level of 97% similarity between the two samples.

  1. Revealing the structure of the world airline network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, T; Araújo, N A M; Herrmann, H J

    2014-07-09

    Resilience of most critical infrastructures against failure of elements that appear insignificant is usually taken for granted. The World Airline Network (WAN) is an infrastructure that reduces the geographical gap between societies, both small and large, and brings forth economic gains. With the extensive use of a publicly maintained data set that contains information about airports and alternative connections between these airports, we empirically reveal that the WAN is a redundant and resilient network for long distance air travel, but otherwise breaks down completely due to removal of short and apparently insignificant connections. These short range connections with moderate number of passengers and alternate flights are the connections that keep remote parts of the world accessible. It is surprising, insofar as there exists a highly resilient and strongly connected core consisting of a small fraction of airports (around 2.3%) together with an extremely fragile star-like periphery. Yet, in spite of their relevance, more than 90% of the world airports are still interconnected upon removal of this core. With standard and unconventional removal measures we compare both empirical and topological perceptions for the fragmentation of the world. We identify how the WAN is organized into different classes of clusters based on the physical proximity of airports and analyze the consequence of this fragmentation.

  2. Revealing the structure of the world airline network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, T.; Araújo, N. A. M.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2014-07-01

    Resilience of most critical infrastructures against failure of elements that appear insignificant is usually taken for granted. The World Airline Network (WAN) is an infrastructure that reduces the geographical gap between societies, both small and large, and brings forth economic gains. With the extensive use of a publicly maintained data set that contains information about airports and alternative connections between these airports, we empirically reveal that the WAN is a redundant and resilient network for long distance air travel, but otherwise breaks down completely due to removal of short and apparently insignificant connections. These short range connections with moderate number of passengers and alternate flights are the connections that keep remote parts of the world accessible. It is surprising, insofar as there exists a highly resilient and strongly connected core consisting of a small fraction of airports (around 2.3%) together with an extremely fragile star-like periphery. Yet, in spite of their relevance, more than 90% of the world airports are still interconnected upon removal of this core. With standard and unconventional removal measures we compare both empirical and topological perceptions for the fragmentation of the world. We identify how the WAN is organized into different classes of clusters based on the physical proximity of airports and analyze the consequence of this fragmentation.

  3. Structure-activity relationships in carbohydrates revealed by their hydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maugeri, Laura; Busch, Sebastian; McLain, Sylvia E; Pardo, Luis Carlos; Bruni, Fabio; Ricci, Maria Antonietta

    2016-12-21

    One of the more intriguing aspects of carbohydrate chemistry is that despite having very similar molecular structures, sugars have very different properties. For instance, there is a sensible difference in sweet taste between glucose and trehalose, even though trehalose is a disaccharide that comprised two glucose units, suggesting a different ability of these two carbohydrates to bind to sweet receptors. Here we have looked at the hydration of specific sites and at the three-dimensional configuration of water molecules around three carbohydrates (glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose), combining neutron diffraction data with computer modelling. Results indicate that identical chemical groups can have radically different hydration patterns depending on their location on a given molecule. These differences can be linked with the specific activity of glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose as a sweet substance, as building block of cellulose fiber, and as a bioprotective agent, respectively. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Recent Advances in Bionanomaterials" Guest Editors: Dr. Marie-Louise Saboungi and Dr. Samuel D. Bader.

  4. Probabilistic diffusion tractography reveals improvement of structural network in musicians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianfu Li

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Musicians experience a large amount of information transfer and integration of complex sensory, motor, and auditory processes when training and playing musical instruments. Therefore, musicians are a useful model in which to investigate neural adaptations in the brain. METHODS: Here, based on diffusion-weighted imaging, probabilistic tractography was used to determine the architecture of white matter anatomical networks in musicians and non-musicians. Furthermore, the features of the white matter networks were analyzed using graph theory. RESULTS: Small-world properties of the white matter network were observed in both groups. Compared with non-musicians, the musicians exhibited significantly increased connectivity strength in the left and right supplementary motor areas, the left calcarine fissure and surrounding cortex and the right caudate nucleus, as well as a significantly larger weighted clustering coefficient in the right olfactory cortex, the left medial superior frontal gyrus, the right gyrus rectus, the left lingual gyrus, the left supramarginal gyrus, and the right pallidum. Furthermore, there were differences in the node betweenness centrality in several regions. However, no significant differences in topological properties were observed at a global level. CONCLUSIONS: We illustrated preliminary findings to extend the network level understanding of white matter plasticity in musicians who have had long-term musical training. These structural, network-based findings may indicate that musicians have enhanced information transmission efficiencies in local white matter networks that are related to musical training.

  5. The NH$_2$D hyperfine structure revealed by astrophysical observations

    CERN Document Server

    Daniel, F; Punanova, A; Harju, J; Faure, A; Roueff, E; Sipilä, O; Caselli, P; Güsten, R; Pon, A; Pineda, J E

    2016-01-01

    The 1$_{11}$-1$_{01}$ lines of ortho and para--NH$_2$D (o/p-NH$_2$D), respectively at 86 and 110 GHz, are commonly observed to provide constraints on the deuterium fractionation in the interstellar medium. In cold regions, the hyperfine structure due to the nitrogen ($^{14}$N) nucleus is resolved. To date, this splitting is the only one which is taken into account in the NH$_2$D column density estimates. We investigate how the inclusion of the hyperfine splitting caused by the deuterium (D) nucleus affects the analysis of the rotational lines of NH$_2$D. We present 30m IRAM observations of the above mentioned lines, as well as APEX o/p-NH$_2$D observations of the 1$_{01}$-0$_{00}$ lines at 333 GHz. The hyperfine spectra are first analyzed with a line list that only includes the hyperfine splitting due to the $^{14}$N nucleus. We find inconsistencies between the line widths of the 1$_{01}$-0$_{00}$ and 1$_{11}$-1$_{01}$ lines, the latter being larger by a factor of $\\sim$1.6$\\pm0.3$. Such a large difference is...

  6. Novel Secondary Structure of Calcitonin in Solid State as Revealed by Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DU,Hai-Ning(杜海宁); DING,Jin-Guo(丁金国); CUI,Da-Fu(崔大敷); HU,Hong-Yu(胡红雨)

    2002-01-01

    The solid-state circular dichroic study reveals that salmon calcitonin presents a typical α-helical structure while human calcitonin appears to form a β-sheet in solid state, although both of them adopt random coil structures in aqueous solution.

  7. The crystal structure of phosphorylated MAPK13 reveals common structural features and differences in p38 MAPK family activation

    OpenAIRE

    Yurtsever, Zeynep; Scheaffer, Suzanne M.; Romero, Arthur G.; Holtzman, Michael J.; Brett, Tom J.

    2015-01-01

    The p38 MAP kinases are an important family of drug targets for a myriad of inflammatory, as well as other, diseases. Presented here is the crystal structure of the active form of MAPK13 (p38d) as well as a comprehensive analysis of all known apo inactive and active p38 MAPK structures, revealing a common mode of activation as well as some unique structural features.

  8. High resolution crystal structure of human β-glucuronidase reveals structural basis of lysosome targeting

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz; Waheed, Abdul; Grubb, Jeffery H; Klei, Herbert E; Korolev, Sergey; Sly, William S

    2013-01-01

    ...). Here we report a high resolution crystal structure of human GUS at 1.7 Å resolution and present an extensive analysis of the structural features, unifying recent findings in the field of lysosome targeting and glycosyl hydrolases...

  9. High Resolution Crystal Structure of Human [beta]-Glucuronidase Reveals Structural Basis of Lysosome Targeting

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hassan, Md; Waheed, Abdul; Grubb, Jeffery; Klei, Herbert; Korolev, Sergey; Sly, William

    2013-01-01

    ...). Here we report a high resolution crystal structure of human GUS at 1.7 Å resolution and present an extensive analysis of the structural features, unifying recent findings in the field of lysosome targeting and glycosyl hydrolases...

  10. STRUCTURAL VIROLOGY. X-ray crystal structures of native HIV-1 capsid protein reveal conformational variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gres, Anna T; Kirby, Karen A; KewalRamani, Vineet N; Tanner, John J; Pornillos, Owen; Sarafianos, Stefan G

    2015-07-03

    The detailed molecular interactions between native HIV-1 capsid protein (CA) hexamers that shield the viral genome and proteins have been elusive. We report crystal structures describing interactions between CA monomers related by sixfold symmetry within hexamers (intrahexamer) and threefold and twofold symmetry between neighboring hexamers (interhexamer). The structures describe how CA builds hexagonal lattices, the foundation of mature capsids. Lattice structure depends on an adaptable hydration layer modulating interactions among CA molecules. Disruption of this layer alters interhexamer interfaces, highlighting an inherent structural variability. A CA-targeting antiviral affects capsid stability by binding across CA molecules and subtly altering interhexamer interfaces remote to the ligand-binding site. Inherent structural plasticity, hydration layer rearrangement, and effector binding affect capsid stability and have functional implications for the retroviral life cycle. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. Crystal structure of human prion protein fragment reveals a motif for oligomer formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostol, Marcin I.; Perry, Kay; Surewicz, Witold K.

    2013-01-01

    The structural transition of the prion protein from α-helical to β-sheet rich underlies its conversion into infectious and disease-associated isoforms. Here we describe the crystal structure of a fragment from human prion protein consisting of the disulfide bond linked portions of helices 2 and 3. Instead of forming a pair-of-sheets steric zipper structure characteristic of amyloid fibers, this fragment crystallized into an β-sheet rich assembly of hexameric oligomers. This study reveals a never before observed structural motif for ordered protein aggregates, and suggests a possible mechanism for self-propagation of misfolded conformations by such non-amyloid oligomers. PMID:23808589

  12. Crystal structure of a human prion protein fragment reveals a motif for oligomer formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostol, Marcin I; Perry, Kay; Surewicz, Witold K

    2013-07-17

    The structural transition of the prion protein from α-helical- to β-sheet-rich underlies its conversion into infectious and disease-associated isoforms. Here we describe the crystal structure of a fragment from human prion protein consisting of the disulfide-bond-linked portions of helices 2 and 3. Instead of forming a pair-of-sheets steric zipper structure characteristic of amyloid fibers, this fragment crystallized into a β-sheet-rich assembly of hexameric oligomers. This study reveals a never before observed structural motif for ordered protein aggregates and suggests a possible mechanism for self-propagation of misfolded conformations by such nonamyloid oligomers.

  13. Hierarchical structure of the Sicilian goats revealed by Bayesian analyses of microsatellite information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siwek, M; Finocchiaro, R; Curik, I; Portolano, B

    2011-02-01

    Genetic structure and relationship amongst the main goat populations in Sicily (Girgentana, Derivata di Siria, Maltese and Messinese) were analysed using information from 19 microsatellite markers genotyped on 173 individuals. A posterior Bayesian approach implemented in the program STRUCTURE revealed a hierarchical structure with two clusters at the first level (Girgentana vs. Messinese, Derivata di Siria and Maltese), explaining 4.8% of variation (amovaФ(ST) estimate). Seven clusters nested within these first two clusters (further differentiations of Girgentana, Derivata di Siria and Maltese), explaining 8.5% of variation (amovaФ(SC) estimate). The analyses and methods applied in this study indicate their power to detect subtle population structure.

  14. Revealing structural and dynamical properties of high density lipoproteins through molecular simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koivuniemi, A.; Vattulainen, I.

    2012-01-01

    The structure and function of high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles have intrigued the scientific community for decades because of their crucial preventive role in coronary heart disease. However, it has been a taunting task to reveal the precise molecular structure and dynamics of HDL. Further......, because of the complex composition of HDL, understanding the impact of its structure and dynamics on the function of HDL in reverse cholesterol transport has also been a major issue. Recent progress in molecular simulation methodology and computing power has made a difference, as it has enabled...... essentially atomistic considerations of HDL particles over microsecond time scales, thereby proving substantial added value to experimental research. In this article, we discuss recent highlights concerning the structure and dynamics of HDL particles as revealed by atomistic and coarse-grained molecular...

  15. Characterization of dermal plates from armored catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis reveals sandwich-like nanocomposite structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebenstein, Donna; Calderon, Carlos; Troncoso, Omar P; Torres, Fernando G

    2015-05-01

    Dermal plates from armored catfish are bony structures that cover their body. In this paper we characterized structural, chemical, and nanomechanical properties of the dermal plates from the Amazonian fish Pterygoplichthys pardalis. Analysis of the morphology of the plates using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that the dermal plates have a sandwich-like structure composed of an inner porous matrix surrounded by two external dense layers. This is different from the plywood-like laminated structure of elasmoid fish scales but similar to the structure of osteoderms found in the dermal armour of some reptiles and mammals. Chemical analysis performed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results revealed similarities between the composition of P. pardalis plates and the elasmoid fish scales of Arapaima gigas. Reduced moduli of P. pardalis plates measured using nanoindentation were also consistent with reported values for A. gigas scales, but further revealed that the dermal plate is an anisotropic and heterogeneous material, similar to many other fish scales and osteoderms. It is postulated that the sandwich-like structure of the dermal plates provides a lightweight and tough protective layer.

  16. Structure determination of archaea-specific ribosomal protein L46a reveals a novel protein fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Yingang, E-mail: fengyg@qibebt.ac.cn [Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Energy Genetics, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266101 (China); Song, Xiaxia [Department of Biological Science and Engineering, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083 (China); Lin, Jinzhong [National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China); Xuan, Jinsong [Department of Biological Science and Engineering, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083 (China); Cui, Qiu [Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Energy Genetics, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266101 (China); Wang, Jinfeng [National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China)

    2014-07-18

    Highlights: • The archaea-specific ribosomal protein L46a has no homology to known proteins. • Three dimensional structure and backbone dynamics of L46a were determined by NMR. • The structure of L46a represents a novel protein fold. • A potential rRNA-binding surface on L46a was identified. • The potential position of L46a on the ribosome was proposed. - Abstract: Three archaea-specific ribosomal proteins recently identified show no sequence homology with other known proteins. Here we determined the structure of L46a, the most conserved one among the three proteins, from Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 using NMR spectroscopy. The structure presents a twisted β-sheet formed by the N-terminal part and two helices at the C-terminus. The L46a structure has a positively charged surface which is conserved in the L46a protein family and is the potential rRNA-binding site. Searching homologous structures in Protein Data Bank revealed that the structure of L46a represents a novel protein fold. The backbone dynamics identified by NMR relaxation experiments reveal significant flexibility at the rRNA binding surface. The potential position of L46a on the ribosome was proposed by fitting the structure into a previous electron microscopy map of the ribosomal 50S subunit, which indicated that L46a contacts to domain I of 23S rRNA near a multifunctional ribosomal protein L7ae.

  17. Eye Movements Reveal the Influence of Event Structure on Reading Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swets, Benjamin; Kurby, Christopher A.

    2016-01-01

    When we read narrative texts such as novels and newspaper articles, we segment information presented in such texts into discrete events, with distinct boundaries between those events. But do our eyes reflect this event structure while reading? This study examines whether eye movements during the reading of discourse reveal how readers respond…

  18. The crystal structure of phosphorylated MAPK13 reveals common structural features and differences in p38 MAPK family activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurtsever, Zeynep; Scheaffer, Suzanne M; Romero, Arthur G; Holtzman, Michael J; Brett, Tom J

    2015-04-01

    The p38 MAP kinases (p38 MAPKs) represent an important family centrally involved in mediating extracellular signaling. Recent studies indicate that family members such as MAPK13 (p38δ) display a selective cellular and tissue expression and are therefore involved in specific diseases. Detailed structural studies of all p38 MAPK family members are crucial for the design of specific inhibitors. In order to facilitate such ventures, the structure of MAPK13 was determined in both the inactive (unphosphorylated; MAPK13) and active (dual phosphorylated; MAPK13/pTpY) forms. Here, the first preparation, crystallization and structure determination of MAPK13/pTpY are presented and the structure is compared with the previously reported structure of MAPK13 in order to facilitate studies for structure-based drug design. A comprehensive analysis of inactive versus active structures for the p38 MAPK family is also presented. It is found that MAPK13 undergoes a larger interlobe configurational rearrangement upon activation compared with MAPK14. Surprisingly, the analysis of activated p38 MAPK structures (MAP12/pTpY, MAPK13/pTpY and MAPK14/pTpY) reveals that, despite a high degree of sequence similarity, different side chains are used to coordinate the phosphorylated residues. There are also differences in the rearrangement of the hinge region that occur in MAPK14 compared with MAPK13 which would affect inhibitor binding. A thorough examination of all of the active (phosphorylated) and inactive (unphosphorylated) p38 MAPK family member structures was performed to reveal a common structural basis of activation for the p38 MAP kinase family and to identify structural differences that may be exploited for developing family member-specific inhibitors.

  19. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  20. Structural fragment clustering reveals novel structural and functional motifs in α-helical transmembrane proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vassilev Boris

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A large proportion of an organism's genome encodes for membrane proteins. Membrane proteins are important for many cellular processes, and several diseases can be linked to mutations in them. With the tremendous growth of sequence data, there is an increasing need to reliably identify membrane proteins from sequence, to functionally annotate them, and to correctly predict their topology. Results We introduce a technique called structural fragment clustering, which learns sequential motifs from 3D structural fragments. From over 500,000 fragments, we obtain 213 statistically significant, non-redundant, and novel motifs that are highly specific to α-helical transmembrane proteins. From these 213 motifs, 58 of them were assigned to function and checked in the scientific literature for a biological assessment. Seventy percent of the motifs are found in co-factor, ligand, and ion binding sites, 30% at protein interaction interfaces, and 12% bind specific lipids such as glycerol or cardiolipins. The vast majority of motifs (94% appear across evolutionarily unrelated families, highlighting the modularity of functional design in membrane proteins. We describe three novel motifs in detail: (1 a dimer interface motif found in voltage-gated chloride channels, (2 a proton transfer motif found in heme-copper oxidases, and (3 a convergently evolved interface helix motif found in an aspartate symporter, a serine protease, and cytochrome b. Conclusions Our findings suggest that functional modules exist in membrane proteins, and that they occur in completely different evolutionary contexts and cover different binding sites. Structural fragment clustering allows us to link sequence motifs to function through clusters of structural fragments. The sequence motifs can be applied to identify and characterize membrane proteins in novel genomes.

  1. The Crystal Structures of EAP Domains from Staphylococcus aureus Reveal an Unexpected Homology to Bacterial Superantigens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geisbrecht, B V; Hamaoka, B Y; Perman, B; Zemla, A; Leahy, D J

    2005-10-14

    The Eap (extracellular adherence protein) of Staphylococcus aureus functions as a secreted virulence factor by mediating interactions between the bacterial cell surface and several extracellular host proteins. Eap proteins from different Staphylococcal strains consist of four to six tandem repeats of a structurally uncharacterized domain (EAP domain). We have determined the three-dimensional structures of three different EAP domains to 1.8, 2.2, and 1.35 {angstrom} resolution, respectively. These structures reveal a core fold that is comprised of an {alpha}-helix lying diagonally across a five-stranded, mixed {beta}-sheet. Comparison of EAP domains with known structures reveals an unexpected homology with the C-terminal domain of bacterial superantigens. Examination of the structure of the superantigen SEC2 bound to the {beta}-chain of a T-cell receptor suggests a possible ligand-binding site within the EAP domain (Fields, B. A., Malchiodi, E. L., Li, H., Ysern, X., Stauffacher, C. V., Schlievert, P. M., Karjalainen, K., and Mariuzza, R. (1996) Nature 384, 188-192). These results provide the first structural characterization of EAP domains, relate EAP domains to a large class of bacterial toxins, and will guide the design of future experiments to analyze EAP domain structure/function relationships.

  2. Structures of Cryptococcus neoformans protein farnesyltransferase reveal strategies for developing inhibitors that target fungal pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hast, Michael A; Nichols, Connie B; Armstrong, Stephanie M; Kelly, Shannon M; Hellinga, Homme W; Alspaugh, J Andrew; Beese, Lorena S

    2011-10-07

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals, including AIDS patients and transplant recipients. Few antifungals can treat C. neoformans infections, and drug resistance is increasing. Protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) catalyzes post-translational lipidation of key signal transduction proteins and is essential in C. neoformans. We present a multidisciplinary study validating C. neoformans FTase (CnFTase) as a drug target, showing that several anticancer FTase inhibitors with disparate scaffolds can inhibit C. neoformans and suggesting structure-based strategies for further optimization of these leads. Structural studies are an essential element for species-specific inhibitor development strategies by revealing similarities and differences between pathogen and host orthologs that can be exploited. We, therefore, present eight crystal structures of CnFTase that define the enzymatic reaction cycle, basis of ligand selection, and structurally divergent regions of the active site. Crystal structures of clinically important anticancer FTase inhibitors in complex with CnFTase reveal opportunities for optimization of selectivity for the fungal enzyme by modifying functional groups that interact with structurally diverse regions. A substrate-induced conformational change in CnFTase is observed as part of the reaction cycle, a feature that is mechanistically distinct from human FTase. Our combined structural and functional studies provide a framework for developing FTase inhibitors to treat invasive fungal infections.

  3. Structures of Cryptococcus neoformans Protein Farnesyltransferase Reveal Strategies for Developing Inhibitors That Target Fungal Pathogens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hast, Michael A.; Nichols, Connie B.; Armstrong, Stephanie M.; Kelly, Shannon M.; Hellinga, Homme W.; Alspaugh, J. Andrew; Beese, Lorena S. (Duke)

    2012-09-17

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals, including AIDS patients and transplant recipients. Few antifungals can treat C. neoformans infections, and drug resistance is increasing. Protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) catalyzes post-translational lipidation of key signal transduction proteins and is essential in C. neoformans. We present a multidisciplinary study validating C. neoformans FTase (CnFTase) as a drug target, showing that several anticancer FTase inhibitors with disparate scaffolds can inhibit C. neoformans and suggesting structure-based strategies for further optimization of these leads. Structural studies are an essential element for species-specific inhibitor development strategies by revealing similarities and differences between pathogen and host orthologs that can be exploited. We, therefore, present eight crystal structures of CnFTase that define the enzymatic reaction cycle, basis of ligand selection, and structurally divergent regions of the active site. Crystal structures of clinically important anticancer FTase inhibitors in complex with CnFTase reveal opportunities for optimization of selectivity for the fungal enzyme by modifying functional groups that interact with structurally diverse regions. A substrate-induced conformational change in CnFTase is observed as part of the reaction cycle, a feature that is mechanistically distinct from human FTase. Our combined structural and functional studies provide a framework for developing FTase inhibitors to treat invasive fungal infections.

  4. Complete set of glycosyltransferase structures in the calicheamicin biosynthetic pathway reveals the origin of regiospecificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Aram; Singh, Shanteri; Helmich, Kate E; Goff, Randal D; Bingman, Craig A; Thorson, Jon S; Phillips, George N

    2011-10-25

    Glycosyltransferases are useful synthetic catalysts for generating natural products with sugar moieties. Although several natural product glycosyltransferase structures have been reported, design principles of glycosyltransferase engineering for the generation of glycodiversified natural products has fallen short of its promise, partly due to a lack of understanding of the relationship between structure and function. Here, we report structures of all four calicheamicin glycosyltransferases (CalG1, CalG2, CalG3, and CalG4), whose catalytic functions are clearly regiospecific. Comparison of these four structures reveals a conserved sugar donor binding motif and the principles of acceptor binding region reshaping. Among them, CalG2 possesses a unique catalytic motif for glycosylation of hydroxylamine. Multiple glycosyltransferase structures in a single natural product biosynthetic pathway are a valuable resource for understanding regiospecific reactions and substrate selectivities and will help future glycosyltransferase engineering.

  5. Complete set of glycosyltransferase structures in the calicheamicin biosynthetic pathway reveals the origin of regiospecificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Aram; Singh, Shanteri; Helmich, Kate E.; Goff, Randal D.; Bingman, Craig A.; Thorson, Jon S.; Phillips, Jr., George N. (UW)

    2012-03-15

    Glycosyltransferases are useful synthetic catalysts for generating natural products with sugar moieties. Although several natural product glycosyltransferase structures have been reported, design principles of glycosyltransferase engineering for the generation of glycodiversified natural products has fallen short of its promise, partly due to a lack of understanding of the relationship between structure and function. Here, we report structures of all four calicheamicin glycosyltransferases (CalG1, CalG2, CalG3, and CalG4), whose catalytic functions are clearly regiospecific. Comparison of these four structures reveals a conserved sugar donor binding motif and the principles of acceptor binding region reshaping. Among them, CalG2 possesses a unique catalytic motif for glycosylation of hydroxylamine. Multiple glycosyltransferase structures in a single natural product biosynthetic pathway are a valuable resource for understanding regiospecific reactions and substrate selectivities and will help future glycosyltransferase engineering.

  6. Scalably Revealing the Dynamics of Soft Community Structure in Complex Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Huijia; LI Huiying

    2016-01-01

    Revealing the dynamics of community structure is of great concern for scientists from many fields.Specifically,how to quantify the dynamic details of soft community structure is a very interesting topic.In this paper,the authors propose a novel framework to study the scalable dynamic behavior of the soft community structure.First,the authors model the Potts dynamics to detect community structure using a "soft" Markov process.Then the soft stability of in a multiscale view is proposed to naturally uncover the local uniform behavior of spin values across multiple hierarchical levels.Finally,a new partition index is developed to detect fuzzy communities based on the stability and the dynamical information.Experiments on the both synthetically generated and real-world networks verify that the framework can be used to uncover hierarchical community structures effectively and efficiently.

  7. Cutting Edge: Il-1 Receptor-Associated Kinase 4 Structures Reveal Novel Features And Multiple Conformations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuglstatter, A.; Villasenor, A.G.; Shaw, D.; Lee, S.W.; Tsing, S.; Niu, L.; Song, K.W.; Barnett, J.W.; Browner, M.F.

    2007-07-09

    L-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)4 plays a central role in innate and adaptive immunity, and is a crucial component in IL-1/TLR signaling. We have determined the crystal structures of the apo and ligand-bound forms of human IRAK4 kinase domain. These structures reveal several features that provide opportunities for the design of selective IRAK4 inhibitors. The N-terminal lobe of the IRAK4 kinase domain is structurally distinctive due to a loop insertion after an extended N-terminal helix. The gatekeeper residue is a tyrosine, a unique feature of the IRAK family. The IRAK4 structures also provide insights into the regulation of its activity. In the apo structure, two conformations coexist, differing in the relative orientation of the two kinase lobes and the position of helix C. In the presence of an ATP analog only one conformation is observed, indicating that this is the active conformation.

  8. Revealing the compact structure of lactic acid bacterial hetero-exopolysaccharides by SAXS and DLS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Sanaullah; Birch, Johnny; Harris, Pernille

    2017-01-01

    a compact coil-like rather than an extended conformation. Constrained molecular modeling of 15,000 randomised HePS-1 conformers resulted in five best-fit structures with R factor of 3.94.6% revealing random coil-like structure. Φ and Ψ angle analysis of glycosidic linkages in HePS-1 structures suggests......Molecular structures of exopolysaccharides are required to understand their functions and the relationships between the structure and physical and rheological properties. Small-angle X-ray scattering and dynamic light scattering were used in conjunction with molecular modeling to characterize...... Galf residues significantly influence the conformation. Ab initio scattering modeling of HePS-2 and HePS-3 gave excellent curve fittings with χ2 of 0.43 and 0.34 for best-fit models, respectively, compatible with coil-like conformation. The findings disclose solution behaviour of HePS relevant...

  9. Cryogenic EBSD reveals structure of directionally solidified ice–polymer composite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donius, Amalie E., E-mail: amalie.donius@gmail.com [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Obbard, Rachel W., E-mail: Rachel.W.Obbard@dartmouth.edu [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Burger, Joan N., E-mail: ridge.of.the.ancients@gmail.com [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Hunger, Philipp M., E-mail: philipp.m.hunger@gmail.com [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Baker, Ian, E-mail: Ian.Baker@dartmouth.edu [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Doherty, Roger D., E-mail: dohertrd@drexel.edu [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Wegst, Ulrike G.K., E-mail: ulrike.wegst@dartmouth.edu [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Despite considerable research efforts on directionally solidified or freeze-cast materials in recent years, little fundamental knowledge has been gained that links model with experiment. In this contribution, the cryogenic characterization of directionally solidified polymer solutions illustrates, how powerful cryo-scanning electron microscopy combined with electron backscatter diffraction is for the structural characterization of ice–polymer composite materials. Under controlled sublimation, the freeze-cast polymer scaffold structure is revealed and imaged with secondary electrons. Electron backscatter diffraction fabric analysis shows that the ice crystals, which template the polymer scaffold and create the lamellar structure, have a-axes oriented parallel to the direction of solidification and the c-axes perpendicular to it. These results indicate the great potential of both cryo-scanning electron microscopy and cryo-electron backscatter diffraction in gaining fundamental knowledge of structure–property–processing correlations. - Highlights: • Cryo-SEM of freeze-cast polymer solution reveals an ice-templated structure. • Cryo-EBSD reveals the ice crystal a-axis to parallel the solidification direction. • The honeycomb-like polymer phase favors columnar ridges only on one side. • Combining cryo-SEM with EBSD links solidification theory with experiment.

  10. Crystal structure of pentapeptide-independent chemotaxis receptor methyltransferase (CheR) reveals idiosyncratic structural determinants for receptor recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batra, Monu; Sharma, Rajesh; Malik, Anjali; Dhindwal, Sonali; Kumar, Pravindra; Tomar, Shailly

    2016-12-01

    Chemotactic methyltransferase, CheR catalyse methylation of specific glutamate residues in the cytoplasmic domain of methyl-accepting chemotactic protein receptors (MCPRs). The methylation of MCPRs is essential for the chemical sensing and chemotactic bacterial mobility towards favorable chemicals or away from unfavorable ones. In this study, crystal structure of B. subtilis CheR (BsCheR) in complex with S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (SAH) has been determined to 1.8Å resolution. This is the first report of crystal structure belonging to the pentapeptide-independent CheR (PICheR) class. Till date, only one crystal structure of CheR from S. typhimurium (StCheR) belonging to pentapeptide-dependent CheR (PDCheR) class is available. Structural analysis of BsCheR reveals a helix-X-helix motif (HXH) with Asp53 as the linker residue in the N-terminal domain. The key structural features of the PDCheR β-subdomain involved in the formation of a tight complex with the pentapeptide binding motif in MCPRs were found to be absent in the structure of BsCheR. Additionally, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments were performed to investigate S-adenosyl-(l)-methionine (SAM) binding affinity and KD was determined to be 0.32mM. The structure of BsCheR reveals that mostly residues of the large C-terminal domain contribute to SAH binding, with contributions of few residues from the linker region and the N-terminal domain. Structural investigations and sequence analysis carried out in this study provide critical insights into the distinct receptor recognition mechanism of the PDCheR and PICheR methyltransferase classes.

  11. Structural dynamics of potassium-channel gating revealed by single-molecule FRET.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shizhen; Vafabakhsh, Reza; Borschel, William F; Ha, Taekjip; Nichols, Colin G

    2016-01-01

    Crystallography has provided invaluable insights regarding ion-channel selectivity and gating, but to advance understanding to a new level, dynamic views of channel structures within membranes are essential. We labeled tetrameric KirBac1.1 potassium channels with single donor and acceptor fluorophores at different sites and then examined structural dynamics within lipid membranes by single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). We found that the extracellular region is structurally rigid in both closed and open states, whereas the N-terminal slide helix undergoes marked conformational fluctuations. The cytoplasmic C-terminal domain fluctuates between two major structural states, both of which become less dynamic and move away from the pore axis and away from the membrane in closed channels. Our results reveal mobile and rigid conformations of functionally relevant KirBac1.1 channel motifs, implying similar dynamics for similar motifs in eukaryotic Kir channels and in cation channels in general.

  12. Structural dynamics of potassium channel gating revealed by single molecule FRET

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borschel, William F.; Ha, Taekjip; Nichols, Colin G.

    2016-01-01

    Crystallography has provided invaluable insights to ion channel selectivity and gating, but to advance understanding to a new level, dynamic views of channel structures within membranes are essential. We labeled tetrameric KirBac1.1 potassium channels with single donor and acceptor fluorophores at different sites, and examined structural dynamics within lipid membranes by single molecule FRET. We found that the extracellular region is structurally rigid in both closed and open states, whereas the N-terminal slide helix undergoes marked conformational fluctuations. The cytoplasmic C-terminal domain fluctuates between two major structural states both of which become less dynamic and move away from the pore axis and away from the membrane in closed channels. Our results reveal mobile and rigid conformations of functionally relevant KirBac1.1 channel motifs, implying similar dynamics for similar motifs in eukaryotic Kir channels and for cation channels in general. PMID:26641713

  13. Structure of the N-terminal fragment of topoisomerase V reveals a new family of topoisomerases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taneja, Bhupesh; Patel, Asmita; Slesarev, Alexei; Mondragon, Alfonso (NWU); (FSI)

    2010-09-02

    Topoisomerases are involved in controlling and maintaining the topology of DNA and are present in all kingdoms of life. Unlike all other types of topoisomerases, similar type IB enzymes have only been identified in bacteria and eukarya. The only putative type IB topoisomerase in archaea is represented by Methanopyrus kandleri topoisomerase V. Despite several common functional characteristics, topoisomerase V shows no sequence similarity to other members of the same type. The structure of the 61 kDa N-terminal fragment of topoisomerase V reveals no structural similarity to other topoisomerases. Furthermore, the structure of the active site region is different, suggesting no conservation in the cleavage and religation mechanism. Additionally, the active site is buried, indicating the need of a conformational change for activity. The presence of a topoisomerase in archaea with a unique structure suggests the evolution of a separate mechanism to alter DNA.

  14. A structural homologue of colipase in black mamba venom revealed by NMR floating disulphide bridge analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisbouvier, J; Albrand, J P; Blackledge, M; Jaquinod, M; Schweitz, H; Lazdunski, M; Marion, D

    1998-01-01

    The solution structure of mamba intestinal toxin 1 (MIT1), isolated from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis venom, has been determined. This molecule is a cysteine-rich polypeptide exhibiting no recognised family membership. Resistance to MIT1 to classical specific endoproteases produced contradictory NMR and biochemical information concerning disulphide-bridge topology. We have used distance restraints allowing ambiguous partners between S atoms in combination with NMR-derived structural information, to correctly determine the disulphide-bridge topology. The resultant solution structure of MIT1, determined to a resolution of 0.5 A, reveals an unexpectedly similar global fold with respect to colipase, a protein involved in fatty acid digestion. Colipase exhibits an analogous resistance to endoprotease activity, indicating for the first time the possible topological origins of this biochemical property. The biochemical and structural homology permitted us to propose a mechanically related digestive function for MIT1 and provides novel information concerning snake venom protein evolution. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  15. Adenovirus Structure as Revealed by X-Ray Crystallography, Electron Microscopy, and Difference Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Phoebe L.; Burnett, Roger M.

    1993-03-01

    The three-dimensional structure of human type 2 adenovirus was studied by combining X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy in a novel way. The 2.9 Å crystal structure of the major capsid protein, hexon, was positioned into a three-dimensional image reconstruction of the intact virus that was derived from cryo-electron micrographs. A three-dimensional difference map was generated by subtracting 240 copies of the crystallographic hexon from the density of the intact virus. This map revealed several minor structural proteins acting as “cement” to stabilize the assembly. The current state of structural knowledge concerning the location of the polypeptide components and the viral DNA is presented.

  16. X-ray CT Scanning Reveals Long-Term Copper Pollution Effects on Functional Soil Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Homstrup, Martin

    Soil structure plays the main role in the ability of the soil to fulfill essential soil functions such as the root growth, rate of water infiltration and retention, transport of gaseous and chemicals/pollutants through the soil. Soil structure is a dynamic soil property and affected by various...... factors such as soil type, land use, and soil contamination. In this study, we quantified the soil structure using X-ray CT scanning and revealed the effect of a long history of Copper (Cu) pollution on it. A fallow field at Hygum Denmark provides this opportunity as it had a long history of Copper...... columns, macroporosity showed a significant decrease along the column depth. The results suggest that Cu contamination has a strong impact on soil structure and hence on all soil physical and biological processes....

  17. Mutual information reveals multiple structural relaxation mechanisms in a model glass former.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunleavy, Andrew J; Wiesner, Karoline; Yamamoto, Ryoichi; Royall, C Patrick

    2015-01-22

    Among the key challenges to our understanding of solidification in the glass transition is that it is accompanied by little apparent change in structure. Recently, geometric motifs have been identified in glassy liquids, but a causal link between these motifs and solidification remains elusive. One 'smoking gun' for such a link would be identical scaling of structural and dynamic lengthscales on approaching the glass transition, but this is highly controversial. Here we introduce an information theoretic approach to determine correlations in displacement for particle relaxation encoded in the initial configuration of a glass-forming liquid. We uncover two populations of particles, one inclined to relax quickly, the other slowly. Each population is correlated with local density and geometric motifs. Our analysis further reveals a dynamic lengthscale similar to that associated with structural properties, which may resolve the discrepancy between structural and dynamic lengthscales.

  18. Focused Evolution of HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibodies Revealed by Structures and Deep Sequencing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Xueling; Zhou, Tongqing; Zhu, Jiang; Zhang, Baoshan; Georgiev, Ivelin; Wang, Charlene; Chen, Xuejun; Longo, Nancy S.; Louder, Mark; McKee, Krisha; O’Dell, Sijy; Perfetto, Stephen; Schmidt, Stephen D.; Shi, Wei; Wu, Lan; Yang, Yongping; Yang, Zhi-Yong; Yang, Zhongjia; Zhang, Zhenhai; Bonsignori, Mattia; Crump, John A.; Kapiga, Saidi H.; Sam, Noel E.; Haynes, Barton F.; Simek, Melissa; Burton, Dennis R.; Koff, Wayne C.; Doria-Rose, Nicole A.; Connors, Mark; Mullikin, James C.; Nabel, Gary J.; Roederer, Mario; Shapiro, Lawrence; Kwong, Peter D.; Mascola, John R. (Tumaini); (NIH); (Duke); (Kilimanjaro Repro.); (IAVI)

    2013-03-04

    Antibody VRC01 is a human immunoglobulin that neutralizes about 90% of HIV-1 isolates. To understand how such broadly neutralizing antibodies develop, we used x-ray crystallography and 454 pyrosequencing to characterize additional VRC01-like antibodies from HIV-1-infected individuals. Crystal structures revealed a convergent mode of binding for diverse antibodies to the same CD4-binding-site epitope. A functional genomics analysis of expressed heavy and light chains revealed common pathways of antibody-heavy chain maturation, confined to the IGHV1-2*02 lineage, involving dozens of somatic changes, and capable of pairing with different light chains. Broadly neutralizing HIV-1 immunity associated with VRC01-like antibodies thus involves the evolution of antibodies to a highly affinity-matured state required to recognize an invariant viral structure, with lineages defined from thousands of sequences providing a genetic roadmap of their development.

  19. Crystal structure of AcrB in complex with a single transmembrane subunit reveals another twist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Törnroth-Horsefield, Susanna; Gourdon, Pontus; Horsefield, Rob; Brive, Lars; Yamamoto, Natsuko; Mori, Hirotada; Snijder, Arjan; Neutze, Richard

    2007-12-01

    Bacterial drug resistance is a serious concern for human health. Multidrug efflux pumps export a broad variety of substrates out of the cell and thereby convey resistance to the host. In Escherichia coli, the AcrB:AcrA:TolC efflux complex forms a principal transporter for which structures of the individual component proteins have been determined in isolation. Here, we present the X-ray structure of AcrB in complex with a single transmembrane protein, assigned by mass spectrometry as YajC. A specific rotation of the periplasmic porter domain of AcrB is also revealed, consistent with the hypothesized "twist-to-open" mechanism for TolC activation. Growth experiments with yajc-deleted E. coli reveal a modest increase in the organism's susceptibility to beta-lactam antibiotics, but this effect could not conclusively be attributed to the loss of interactions between YajC and AcrB.

  20. Clinoptilolite and heulandite structural differences as revealed by multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ward, R.L.; McKague, H.L. (Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States))

    1994-01-27

    Wide-line proton NMR has revealed differences in the water environment in two zeolitic isomorphs: clinoptilolite and heulandite. The proton spectrum of clinoptilolite is Gaussian in shape, while that of heulandite is a (reduced splitting) Pake doublet. Studies of clinoptilolite from five different locations and heulandite from nine different sites agree with this observation. These results suggest a simple nondestructive NMR method for distinguishing heulandite from clinoptilolite. Dehydration experiments are particularly informative. Proton line widths of clinoptilolite as a function of the dehydration temperature reveal three types of water binding, none being absorbed water. Similar studies with heulandite reveal a change from the Pake doublet to a Gaussian, which is probably associated with the heulandite to heulandite B transformation. [sup 27]Al and [sup 29]Si NMR studies of clinoptilolite indicate a change in framework structure and/or cation binding with dehydration. [sup 27]Al NMR of heulandite exhibits an increase in line width with dehydration temperature to 175[degrees]C. At this temperature the increase stops and the line width remains constant to 215[degrees]C, the maximum temperature studied. This agrees with the proton studies and is attributed to the heulandite to heulandite B transformation. [sup 29]Si NMR of heulandite reveals a framework structural change and/or cation binding with dehydration. All of these observations are reversible upon rehydration. 21 refs., 9 figs.

  1. Phylogeographic analysis reveals significant spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis as a product of mountain building

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Shaotian

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Incarvillea sinensis is widely distributed from Southwest China to Northeast China and in the Russian Far East. The distribution of this species was thought to be influenced by the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Quaternary glaciation. To reveal the imprints of geological events on the spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis, we examined two cpDNA segments ( trnH- psbA and trnS- trnfM in 705 individuals from 47 localities. Results A total of 16 haplotypes was identified, and significant genetic differentiation was revealed (GST =0.843, NST = 0.975, P  Conclusions The results revealed that the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau likely resulted in the significant divergence between the lineage in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the other one outside this area. The diverse niches in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau created a wide spectrum of habitats to accumulate and accommodate new mutations. The features of genetic diversity of populations outside the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau seemed to reveal the imprints of extinction during the Glacial and the interglacial and postglacial recolonization. Our study is a typical case of the significance of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Quaternary Glacial in spatial genetic structure of eastern Asian plants, and sheds new light on the evolution of biodiversity in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the intraspecies level.

  2. Fine Structure of Hydrogen Bond in Cholic Acid Revealed by 2DIR Spectroscopy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Based on cryogenic FT-IR spectroscopic studies of hydrogen bonds in cholic acid, two-dimensional FT-IR spectroscopy was applied to enhance our understanding of the hydrogen bonds of cholic acid. Fine spectral structures were revealed by asynchronous 2D FT-IR spectra. The co-relationship among various bands was discussed according to the synchronous 2D FT-IR spectrum.

  3. Allelic diversity and population structure of Bacillus sphaericus as revealed by multilocus sequence typing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Yong; Hu, Xiaomin; Zheng, Dasheng; Wu, Yiming; Yuan, Zhiming

    2011-08-01

    The genetic diversity of 35 Bacillus sphaericus strains was analyzed by a newly developed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme, toxin gene pool survey, and mosquito bioassay. The results demonstrated that strains assigned to the same sequence type (ST) had the same occurrence of toxin genes. Further sequence analysis revealed that toxic strains presented a nearly clonal population structure, whereas nontoxic strains had a high level of heterogeneity and were significantly distinct from toxic strains.

  4. Structural characterisation of Tpx from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals insights into the binding of salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mads Gabrielsen

    Full Text Available Thiol peroxidase, Tpx, has been shown to be a target protein of the salicylidene acylhydrazide class of antivirulence compounds. In this study we present the crystal structures of Tpx from Y. pseudotuberculosis (ypTpx in the oxidised and reduced states, together with the structure of the C61S mutant. The structures solved are consistent with previously solved atypical 2-Cys thiol peroxidases, including that for "forced" reduced states using the C61S mutant. In addition, by investigating the solution structure of ypTpx using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS, we have confirmed that reduced state ypTpx in solution is a homodimer. The solution structure also reveals flexibility around the dimer interface. Notably, the conformational changes observed between the redox states at the catalytic triad and at the dimer interface have implications for substrate and inhibitor binding. The structural data were used to model the binding of two salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds to the oxidised structure of ypTpx. Overall, the study provides insights into the binding of the salicylidene acylhydrazides to ypTpx, aiding our long-term strategy to understand the mode of action of this class of compounds.

  5. Crystal structure analysis reveals functional flexibility in the selenocysteine-specific tRNA from mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg M Ganichkin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selenocysteine tRNAs (tRNA(Sec exhibit a number of unique identity elements that are recognized specifically by proteins of the selenocysteine biosynthetic pathways and decoding machineries. Presently, these identity elements and the mechanisms by which they are interpreted by tRNA(Sec-interacting factors are incompletely understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We applied rational mutagenesis to obtain well diffracting crystals of murine tRNA(Sec. tRNA(Sec lacking the single-stranded 3'-acceptor end ((ΔGCCARNA(Sec yielded a crystal structure at 2.0 Å resolution. The global structure of (ΔGCCARNA(Sec resembles the structure of human tRNA(Sec determined at 3.1 Å resolution. Structural comparisons revealed flexible regions in tRNA(Sec used for induced fit binding to selenophosphate synthetase. Water molecules located in the present structure were involved in the stabilization of two alternative conformations of the anticodon stem-loop. Modeling of a 2'-O-methylated ribose at position U34 of the anticodon loop as found in a sub-population of tRNA(Secin vivo showed how this modification favors an anticodon loop conformation that is functional during decoding on the ribosome. Soaking of crystals in Mn(2+-containing buffer revealed eight potential divalent metal ion binding sites but the located metal ions did not significantly stabilize specific structural features of tRNA(Sec. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We provide the most highly resolved structure of a tRNA(Sec molecule to date and assessed the influence of water molecules and metal ions on the molecule's conformation and dynamics. Our results suggest how conformational changes of tRNA(Sec support its interaction with proteins.

  6. Structure of Human GIVD Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 Reveals Insights into Substrate Recognition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Hui; Klein, Michael G.; Snell, Gyorgy; Lane, Weston; Zou, Hua; Levin, Irena; Li, Ke; Sang, Bi-Ching (Takeda Cali)

    2016-07-01

    Cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) consist of a family of calcium-sensitive enzymes that function to generate lipid second messengers through hydrolysis of membrane-associated glycerophospholipids. The GIVD cPLA2 (cPLA2δ) is a potential drug target for developing a selective therapeutic agent for the treatment of psoriasis. Here, we present two X-ray structures of human cPLA2δ, capturing an apo state, and in complex with a substrate-like inhibitor. Comparison of the apo and inhibitor-bound structures reveals conformational changes in a flexible cap that allows the substrate to access the relatively buried active site, providing new insight into the mechanism for substrate recognition. The cPLA2δ structure reveals an unexpected second C2 domain that was previously unrecognized from sequence alignments, placing cPLA2δ into the class of membrane-associated proteins that contain a tandem pair of C2 domains. Furthermore, our structures elucidate novel inter-domain interactions and define three potential calcium-binding sites that are likely important for regulation and activation of enzymatic activity. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing cPLA2's function in signal transduction.

  7. Structural characterization of Helicobacter pylori dethiobiotin synthetase reveals differences between family members

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Porebski, Przemyslaw J.; Klimecka, Maria; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Nicholls, Robert A.; Murzyn, Krzysztof; Cuff, Marianne E.; Xu, Xiaohui; Cymborowski, Marcin; Murshudov, Garib N.; Savchenko, Alexei; Edwards, Aled; Minor, Wladek (MCSG); (UV); (MRC)

    2012-07-11

    Dethiobiotin synthetase (DTBS) is involved in the biosynthesis of biotin in bacteria, fungi, and plants. As humans lack this pathway, DTBS is a promising antimicrobial drug target. We determined structures of DTBS from Helicobacter pylori (hpDTBS) bound with cofactors and a substrate analog, and described its unique characteristics relative to other DTBS proteins. Comparison with bacterial DTBS orthologs revealed considerable structural differences in nucleotide recognition. The C-terminal region of DTBS proteins, which contains two nucleotide-recognition motifs, differs greatly among DTBS proteins from different species. The structure of hpDTBS revealed that this protein is unique and does not contain a C-terminal region containing one of the motifs. The single nucleotide-binding motif in hpDTBS is similar to its counterpart in GTPases; however, isothermal titration calorimetry binding studies showed that hpDTBS has a strong preference for ATP. The structural determinants of ATP specificity were assessed with X-ray crystallographic studies of hpDTBS-ATP and hpDTBS-GTP complexes. The unique mode of nucleotide recognition in hpDTBS makes this protein a good target for H. pylori-specific inhibitors of the biotin synthesis pathway.

  8. The Asymmetrical Structure of Golgi Apparatus Membranes Revealed by In situ Atomic Force Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haijiao; Su, Weiheng; Cai, Mingjun; Jiang, Junguang; Zeng, Xianlu; Wang, Hongda

    2013-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm –200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level. PMID:23613878

  9. The asymmetrical structure of Golgi apparatus membranes revealed by in situ atomic force microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haijiao; Su, Weiheng; Cai, Mingjun; Jiang, Junguang; Zeng, Xianlu; Wang, Hongda

    2013-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm -200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level.

  10. The asymmetrical structure of Golgi apparatus membranes revealed by in situ atomic force microscope.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijiao Xu

    Full Text Available The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm -200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level.

  11. Crystal Structures of Polymorphic Prion Protein β1 Peptides Reveal Variable Steric Zipper Conformations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lu; Lee, Seung-Joo; Yee, Vivien C

    2015-06-16

    The pathogenesis of prion diseases is associated with the conformational conversion of normal, predominantly α-helical prion protein (PrP(C)) into a pathogenic form that is enriched with β-sheets (PrP(Sc)). Several PrP(C) crystal structures have revealed β1-mediated intermolecular sheets, suggesting that the β1 strand may contribute to a possible initiation site for β-sheet-mediated PrP(Sc) propagation. This β1 strand contains the polymorphic residue 129 that influences disease susceptibility and phenotype. To investigate the effect of the residue 129 polymorphism on the conformation of amyloid-like continuous β-sheets formed by β1, crystal structures of β1 peptides containing each of the polymorphic residues were determined. To probe the conformational influence of the peptide construct design, four different lengths of β1 peptides were studied. From the 12 peptides studied, 11 yielded crystal structures ranging in resolution from 0.9 to 1.4 Å. This ensemble of β1 crystal structures reveals conformational differences that are influenced by both the nature of the polymorphic residue and the extent of the peptide construct, indicating that comprehensive studies in which peptide constructs vary are a more rigorous approach to surveying conformational possibilities.

  12. Structural Analysis of Rtt106p Reveals a DNA Binding Role Required for Heterochromatin Silencing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Y.; Huang, H; Zhou, B; Wang, S; Hu, Y; Li, X; Liu, J; Niu, L; Wu, J; et. al.

    2010-01-01

    Rtt106p is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae histone chaperone with roles in heterochromatin silencing and nucleosome assembly. The molecular mechanism by which Rtt106p engages in chromatin dynamics remains unclear. Here, we report the 2.5 {angstrom} crystal structure of the core domain of Rtt106p, which adopts an unusual 'double pleckstrin homology' domain architecture that represents a novel structural mode for histone chaperones. A histone H3-H4-binding region and a novel double-stranded DNA-binding region have been identified. Mutagenesis studies reveal that the histone and DNA binding activities of Rtt106p are involved in Sir protein-mediated heterochromatin formation. Our results uncover the structural basis of the diverse functions of Rtt106p and provide new insights into its cellular roles.

  13. An atomic model of HIV-1 capsid-SP1 reveals structures regulating assembly and maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schur, Florian K M; Obr, Martin; Hagen, Wim J H; Wan, William; Jakobi, Arjen J; Kirkpatrick, Joanna M; Sachse, Carsten; Kräusslich, Hans-Georg; Briggs, John A G

    2016-07-29

    Immature HIV-1 assembles at and buds from the plasma membrane before proteolytic cleavage of the viral Gag polyprotein induces structural maturation. Maturation can be blocked by maturation inhibitors (MIs), thereby abolishing infectivity. The CA (capsid) and SP1 (spacer peptide 1) region of Gag is the key regulator of assembly and maturation and is the target of MIs. We applied optimized cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to resolve this region within assembled immature HIV-1 particles at 3.9 angstrom resolution and built an atomic model. The structure reveals a network of intra- and intermolecular interactions mediating immature HIV-1 assembly. The proteolytic cleavage site between CA and SP1 is inaccessible to protease. We suggest that MIs prevent CA-SP1 cleavage by stabilizing the structure, and MI resistance develops by destabilizing CA-SP1.

  14. Revealing daily travel patterns and city structure with taxi trip data

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, Xi; Gong, Yongxi; Liu, Yu

    2013-01-01

    Detecting regional spatial structures based on spatial interactions is crucial in applications ranging from urban planning to traffic control. In the big data era, various movement trajectories are available for studying spatial structures. This research uses large scale Shanghai taxi trip data extracted from GPS-enabled taxi trajectories to reveal traffic flow patterns and urban structure of the city. Using the network science methods, 15 temporally stable regions reflecting the scope of people's daily travels are found using community detection method on the network built from short trips, which represent residents' daily intra-urban travels and exhibit a clear pattern. In each region, taxi traffic flows are dominated by a few 'hubs' and 'hubs' in suburbs impact more trips than 'hubs' in urban areas. Land use conditions in urban regions are different from those in suburban areas. Additionally, 'hubs' in urban area associate with office buildings and commercial areas more, whereas residential land use is mor...

  15. Structural Genomics Reveals EVE as a New ASCH/PUA-Related Domain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertonati, C.; Punta, M; Fischer, M; Yachdav, G; Forouhar, F; Hunt, J; Tong, L; Montelione, G; Rost, B; et. al.

    2008-01-01

    We report on several proteins recently solved by structural genomics consortia, in particular by the Northeast Structural Genomics consortium (NESG). The proteins considered in this study differ substantially in their sequences but they share a similar structural core, characterized by a pseudobarrel five-stranded beta sheet. This core corresponds to the PUA domain-like architecture in the SCOP database. By connecting sequence information with structural knowledge, we characterize a new subgroup of these proteins that we propose to be distinctly different from previously described PUA domain-like domains such as PUA proper or ASCH. We refer to these newly defined domains as EVE. Although EVE may have retained the ability of PUA domains to bind RNA, the available experimental and computational data suggests that both the details of its molecular function and its cellular function differ from those of other PUA domain-like domains. This study of EVE and its relatives illustrates how the combination of structure and genomics creates new insights by connecting a cornucopia of structures that map to the same evolutionary potential. Primary sequence information alone would have not been sufficient to reveal these evolutionary links.

  16. Complete structure of the bacterial flagellar hook reveals extensive set of stabilizing interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunami, Hideyuki; Barker, Clive S.; Yoon, Young-Ho; Wolf, Matthias; Samatey, Fadel A.

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial flagellar hook is a tubular helical structure made by the polymerization of multiple copies of a protein, FlgE. Here we report the structure of the hook from Campylobacter jejuni by cryo-electron microscopy at a resolution of 3.5 Å. On the basis of this structure, we show that the hook is stabilized by intricate inter-molecular interactions between FlgE molecules. Extra domains in FlgE, found only in Campylobacter and in related bacteria, bring more stability and robustness to the hook. Functional experiments suggest that Campylobacter requires an unusually strong hook to swim without its flagella being torn off. This structure reveals details of the quaternary organization of the hook that consists of 11 protofilaments. Previous study of the flagellar filament of Campylobacter by electron microscopy showed its quaternary structure made of seven protofilaments. Therefore, this study puts in evidence the difference between the quaternary structures of a bacterial filament and its hook. PMID:27811912

  17. Structure of Est3 reveals a bimodal surface with differential roles in telomere replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Timsi; Lubin, Johnathan W; Armstrong, Geoffrey S; Tucey, Timothy M; Lundblad, Victoria; Wuttke, Deborah S

    2014-01-01

    Telomerase is essential for continuous cellular proliferation. Substantial insights have come from studies of budding yeast telomerase, which consists of a catalytic core in association with two regulatory proteins, ever shorter telomeres 1 and 3 (Est1 and Est3). We report here a high-resolution structure of the Est3 telomerase subunit determined using a recently developed strategy that combines minimal NMR experimental data with Rosetta de novo structure prediction algorithms. Est3 adopts an overall protein fold which is structurally similar to that adopted by the shelterin component TPP1. However, the characteristics of the surface of the experimentally determined Est3 structure are substantially different from those predicted by prior homology-based models of Est3. Structure-guided mutagenesis of the complete surface of the Est3 protein reveals two adjacent patches on a noncanonical face of the protein that differentially mediate telomere function. Mapping these two patches on the Est3 structure defines a set of shared features between Est3 and HsTPP1, suggesting an analogous multifunctional surface on TPP1.

  18. Structure-function analysis of a bacterial deoxyadenosine kinase reveals the basis for substrate specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welin, Martin; Wang, Liya; Eriksson, Staffan; Eklund, Hans

    2007-03-01

    Deoxyribonucleoside kinases (dNKs) catalyze the transfer of a phosphoryl group from ATP to a deoxyribonucleoside (dN), a key step in DNA precursor synthesis. Recently structural information concerning dNKs has been obtained, but no structure of a bacterial dCK/dGK enzyme is known. Here we report the structure of such an enzyme, represented by deoxyadenosine kinase from Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small colony type (Mm-dAK). Superposition of Mm-dAK with its human counterpart's deoxyguanosine kinase (dGK) and deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) reveals that the overall structures are very similar with a few amino acid alterations in the proximity of the active site. To investigate the substrate specificity, Mm-dAK has been crystallized in complex with dATP and dCTP, as well as the products dCMP and dCDP. Both dATP and dCTP bind to the enzyme in a feedback-inhibitory manner with the dN part in the deoxyribonucleoside binding site and the triphosphates in the P-loop. Substrate specificity studies with clinically important nucleoside analogs as well as several phosphate donors were performed. Thus, in this study we combine structural and kinetic data to gain a better understanding of the substrate specificity of the dCK/dGK family of enzymes. The structure of Mm-dAK provides a starting point for making new anti bacterial agents against pathogenic bacteria.

  19. Turkish population structure and genetic ancestry reveal relatedness among Eurasian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodoğlugil, Uğur; Mahley, Robert W

    2012-03-01

    Turkey has experienced major population movements. Population structure and genetic relatedness of samples from three regions of Turkey, using over 500,000 SNP genotypes, were compared together with Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP) data. To obtain a more representative sampling from Central Asia, Kyrgyz samples (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) were genotyped and analysed. Principal component (PC) analysis reveals a significant overlap between Turks and Middle Easterners and a relationship with Europeans and South and Central Asians; however, the Turkish genetic structure is unique. FRAPPE, STRUCTURE, and phylogenetic analyses support the PC analysis depending upon the number of parental ancestry components chosen. For example, supervised STRUCTURE (K=3) illustrates a genetic ancestry for the Turks of 45% Middle Eastern (95% CI, 42-49), 40% European (95% CI, 36-44) and 15% Central Asian (95% CI, 13-16), whereas at K=4 the genetic ancestry of the Turks was 38% European (95% CI, 35-42), 35% Middle Eastern (95% CI, 33-38), 18% South Asian (95% CI, 16-19) and 9% Central Asian (95% CI, 7-11). PC analysis and FRAPPE/STRUCTURE results from three regions in Turkey (Aydin, Istanbul and Kayseri) were superimposed, without clear subpopulation structure, suggesting sample homogeneity. Thus, this study demonstrates admixture of Turkish people reflecting the population migration patterns. © 2012 The Authors Annals of Human Genetics © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/University College London.

  20. Structures of mesophilic and extremophilic citrate synthases reveal rigidity and flexibility for function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Stephen A; Crennell, Susan J; Danson, Michael J

    2014-10-01

    Citrate synthase (CS) catalyses the entry of carbon into the citric acid cycle and is highly-conserved structurally across the tree of life. Crystal structures of dimeric CSs are known in both "open" and "closed" forms, which differ by a substantial domain motion that closes the substrate-binding clefts. We explore both the static rigidity and the dynamic flexibility of CS structures from mesophilic and extremophilic organisms from all three evolutionary domains. The computational expense of this wide-ranging exploration is kept to a minimum by the use of rigidity analysis and rapid all-atom simulations of flexible motion, combining geometric simulation and elastic network modeling. CS structures from thermophiles display increased structural rigidity compared with the mesophilic enzyme. A CS structure from a psychrophile, stabilized by strong ionic interactions, appears to display likewise increased rigidity in conventional rigidity analysis; however, a novel modified analysis, taking into account the weakening of the hydrophobic effect at low temperatures, shows a more appropriate decreased rigidity. These rigidity variations do not, however, affect the character of the flexible dynamics, which are well conserved across all the structures studied. Simulation trajectories not only duplicate the crystallographically observed symmetric open-to-closed transitions, but also identify motions describing a previously unidentified antisymmetric functional motion. This antisymmetric motion would not be directly observed in crystallography but is revealed as an intrinsic property of the CS structure by modeling of flexible motion. This suggests that the functional motion closing the binding clefts in CS may be independent rather than symmetric and cooperative.

  1. Novel Features of Eukaryotic Photosystem II Revealed by Its Crystal Structure Analysis from a Red Alga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ago, Hideo; Adachi, Hideyuki; Umena, Yasufumi; Tashiro, Takayoshi; Kawakami, Keisuke; Kamiya, Nobuo; Tian, Lirong; Han, Guangye; Kuang, Tingyun; Liu, Zheyi; Wang, Fangjun; Zou, Hanfa; Enami, Isao; Miyano, Masashi; Shen, Jian-Ren

    2016-03-11

    Photosystem II (PSII) catalyzes light-induced water splitting, leading to the evolution of molecular oxygen indispensible for life on the earth. The crystal structure of PSII from cyanobacteria has been solved at an atomic level, but the structure of eukaryotic PSII has not been analyzed. Because eukaryotic PSII possesses additional subunits not found in cyanobacterial PSII, it is important to solve the structure of eukaryotic PSII to elucidate their detailed functions, as well as evolutionary relationships. Here we report the structure of PSII from a red alga Cyanidium caldarium at 2.76 Å resolution, which revealed the structure and interaction sites of PsbQ', a unique, fourth extrinsic protein required for stabilizing the oxygen-evolving complex in the lumenal surface of PSII. The PsbQ' subunit was found to be located underneath CP43 in the vicinity of PsbV, and its structure is characterized by a bundle of four up-down helices arranged in a similar way to those of cyanobacterial and higher plant PsbQ, although helices I and II of PsbQ' were kinked relative to its higher plant counterpart because of its interactions with CP43. Furthermore, two novel transmembrane helices were found in the red algal PSII that are not present in cyanobacterial PSII; one of these helices may correspond to PsbW found only in eukaryotic PSII. The present results represent the first crystal structure of PSII from eukaryotic oxygenic organisms, which were discussed in comparison with the structure of cyanobacterial PSII.

  2. Novel Features of Eukaryotic Photosystem II Revealed by Its Crystal Structure Analysis from a Red Alga*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ago, Hideo; Adachi, Hideyuki; Umena, Yasufumi; Tashiro, Takayoshi; Kawakami, Keisuke; Kamiya, Nobuo; Tian, Lirong; Han, Guangye; Kuang, Tingyun; Liu, Zheyi; Wang, Fangjun; Zou, Hanfa; Enami, Isao; Miyano, Masashi; Shen, Jian-Ren

    2016-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) catalyzes light-induced water splitting, leading to the evolution of molecular oxygen indispensible for life on the earth. The crystal structure of PSII from cyanobacteria has been solved at an atomic level, but the structure of eukaryotic PSII has not been analyzed. Because eukaryotic PSII possesses additional subunits not found in cyanobacterial PSII, it is important to solve the structure of eukaryotic PSII to elucidate their detailed functions, as well as evolutionary relationships. Here we report the structure of PSII from a red alga Cyanidium caldarium at 2.76 Å resolution, which revealed the structure and interaction sites of PsbQ′, a unique, fourth extrinsic protein required for stabilizing the oxygen-evolving complex in the lumenal surface of PSII. The PsbQ′ subunit was found to be located underneath CP43 in the vicinity of PsbV, and its structure is characterized by a bundle of four up-down helices arranged in a similar way to those of cyanobacterial and higher plant PsbQ, although helices I and II of PsbQ′ were kinked relative to its higher plant counterpart because of its interactions with CP43. Furthermore, two novel transmembrane helices were found in the red algal PSII that are not present in cyanobacterial PSII; one of these helices may correspond to PsbW found only in eukaryotic PSII. The present results represent the first crystal structure of PSII from eukaryotic oxygenic organisms, which were discussed in comparison with the structure of cyanobacterial PSII. PMID:26757821

  3. Three-dimensional structure of a schistosome serpin revealing an unusual configuration of the helical subdomain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Granzin, Joachim [Institute of Complex Systems, ICS-6: Structural Biochemistry, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich (Germany); Huang, Ying; Topbas, Celalettin [Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195 (United States); Huang, Wenying [Department of Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195 (United States); Wu, Zhiping [Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195 (United States); Misra, Saurav [Department of Molecular Cardiology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195 (United States); Hazen, Stanley L. [Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195 (United States); Blanton, Ronald E. [Department of Infectious Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44190 (United States); Lee, Xavier [Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195 (United States); Weiergräber, Oliver H., E-mail: o.h.weiergraeber@fz-juelich.de [Institute of Complex Systems, ICS-6: Structural Biochemistry, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich (Germany)

    2012-06-01

    The crystal structure of ShSPI, a serpin from the blood fluke S. haematobium, reveals some peculiar features of the helical subdomain which have not been observed previously in the serpin superfamily. Parasitic organisms are constantly challenged by the defence mechanisms of their respective hosts, which often depend on serine protease activities. Consequently, protease inhibitors such as those belonging to the serpin superfamily have emerged as protective elements that support the survival of the parasites. This report describes the crystal structure of ShSPI, a serpin from the trematode Schistosoma haematobium. The protein is exposed on the surface of invading cercaria as well as of adult worms, suggesting its involvement in the parasite–host interaction. While generally conforming to the well established serpin fold, the structure reveals several distinctive features, mostly concerning the helical subdomain of the protein. It is proposed that these peculiarities are related to the unique biological properties of a small serpin subfamily which is conserved among pathogenic schistosomes.

  4. Maps of sparse Markov chains efficiently reveal community structure in network flows with memory

    CERN Document Server

    Persson, Christian; Edler, Daniel; Rosvall, Martin

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the flows of ideas or information through social and biological systems, researchers develop maps that reveal important patterns in network flows. In practice, network flow models have implied memoryless first-order Markov chains, but recently researchers have introduced higher-order Markov chain models with memory to capture patterns in multi-step pathways. Higher-order models are particularly important for effectively revealing actual, overlapping community structure, but higher-order Markov chain models suffer from the curse of dimensionality: their vast parameter spaces require exponentially increasing data to avoid overfitting and therefore make mapping inefficient already for moderate-sized systems. To overcome this problem, we introduce an efficient cross-validated mapping approach based on network flows modeled by sparse Markov chains. To illustrate our approach, we present a map of citation flows in science with research fields that overlap in multidisciplinary journals. Compared...

  5. The structure of Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase reveals a novel redox switch that regulates its activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chitnumsub, Penchit, E-mail: penchit@biotec.or.th; Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee [Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand); Pornthanakasem, Wichai [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Chaiyen, Pimchai [Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand); Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree, E-mail: penchit@biotec.or.th [National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 113 Thailand Science Park, Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand)

    2014-06-01

    The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme.

  6. Structure of a double-domain phosphagen kinase reveals an asymmetric arrangement of the tandem domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhiming; Qiao, Zhu; Ye, Sheng; Zhang, Rongguang

    2015-04-01

    Tandem duplications and fusions of single genes have led to magnificent expansions in the divergence of protein structures and functions over evolutionary timescales. One of the possible results is polydomain enzymes with interdomain cooperativities, few examples of which have been structurally characterized at the full-length level to explore their innate synergistic mechanisms. This work reports the crystal structures of a double-domain phosphagen kinase in both apo and ligand-bound states, revealing a novel asymmetric L-shaped arrangement of the two domains. Unexpectedly, the interdomain connections are not based on a flexible hinge linker but on a rigid secondary-structure element: a long α-helix that tethers the tandem domains in relatively fixed positions. Besides the connective helix, the two domains also contact each other directly and form an interdomain interface in which hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions further stabilize the L-shaped domain arrangement. Molecular-dynamics simulations show that the interface is generally stable, suggesting that the asymmetric domain arrangement crystallographically observed in the present study is not a conformational state simply restrained by crystal-packing forces. It is possible that the asymmetrically arranged tandem domains could provide a structural basis for further studies of the interdomain synergy.

  7. Crystal structure of human tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase-2 reveals the mechanism of protein tyrosine sulfation reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teramoto, Takamasa; Fujikawa, Yukari; Kawaguchi, Yoshirou; Kurogi, Katsuhisa; Soejima, Masayuki; Adachi, Rumi; Nakanishi, Yuichi; Mishiro-Sato, Emi; Liu, Ming-Cheh; Sakakibara, Yoichi; Suiko, Masahito; Kimura, Makoto; Kakuta, Yoshimitsu

    2013-01-01

    Post-translational protein modification by tyrosine sulfation has an important role in extracellular protein-protein interactions. The protein tyrosine sulfation reaction is catalysed by the Golgi enzyme called the tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase. To date, no crystal structure is available for tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase. Detailed mechanism of protein tyrosine sulfation reaction has thus remained unclear. Here we present the first crystal structure of the human tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase isoform 2 complexed with a substrate peptide (C4P5Y3) derived from complement C4 and 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate at 1.9 Å resolution. Structural and complementary mutational analyses revealed the molecular basis for catalysis being an SN2-like in-line displacement mechanism. Tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase isoform 2 appeared to recognize the C4 peptide in a deep cleft by using a short parallel β-sheet type interaction, and the bound C4P5Y3 forms an L-shaped structure. Surprisingly, the mode of substrate peptide recognition observed in the tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase isoform 2 structure resembles that observed for the receptor type tyrosine kinases.

  8. Structures of ribosome-bound initiation factor 2 reveal the mechanism of subunit association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprink, Thiemo; Ramrath, David J. F.; Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Kaori; Loerke, Justus; Ismer, Jochen; Hildebrand, Peter W.; Scheerer, Patrick; Bürger, Jörg; Mielke, Thorsten; Spahn, Christian M. T.

    2016-01-01

    Throughout the four phases of protein biosynthesis—initiation, elongation, termination, and recycling—the ribosome is controlled and regulated by at least one specified translational guanosine triphosphatase (trGTPase). Although the structural basis for trGTPase interaction with the ribosome has been solved for the last three steps of translation, the high-resolution structure for the key initiation trGTPase, initiation factor 2 (IF2), complexed with the ribosome, remains elusive. We determine the structure of IF2 complexed with a nonhydrolyzable guanosine triphosphate analog and initiator fMet-tRNAiMet in the context of the Escherichia coli ribosome to 3.7-Å resolution using cryo-electron microscopy. The structural analysis reveals previously unseen intrinsic conformational modes of the 70S initiation complex, establishing the mutual interplay of IF2 and initator transfer RNA (tRNA) with the ribsosome and providing the structural foundation for a mechanistic understanding of the final steps of translation initiation. PMID:26973877

  9. Structure of the Spt16 Middle Domain Reveals Functional Features of the Histone Chaperone FACT*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemble, David J.; Whitby, Frank G.; Robinson, Howard; McCullough, Laura L.; Formosa, Tim; Hill, Christopher P.

    2013-01-01

    The histone chaperone FACT is an essential and abundant heterodimer found in all eukaryotes. Here we report a crystal structure of the middle domain of the large subunit of FACT (Spt16-M) to reveal a double pleckstrin homology architecture. This structure was found previously in the Pob3-M domain of the small subunit of FACT and in the related histone chaperone Rtt106, although Spt16-M is distinguished from these structures by the presence of an extended α-helix and a C-terminal addition. Consistent with our finding that the double pleckstrin homology structure is common to these three histone chaperones and reports that Pob3 and Rtt106 double pleckstrin homology domains bind histones H3-H4, we also find that Spt16-M binds H3-H4 with low micromolar affinity. Our structure provides a framework for interpreting a large body of genetic data regarding the physiological functions of FACT, including the identification of potential interaction surfaces for binding histones or other proteins. PMID:23417676

  10. Rattusin structure reveals a novel defensin scaffold formed by intermolecular disulfide exchanges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Hye Jung; Yun, Hyosuk; Ji, Sehyeon; Rajasekaran, Ganesan; Kim, Jae Il; Kim, Jeong-Sun; Shin, Song Yub; Lee, Chul Won

    2017-01-01

    Defensin peptides are essential for innate immunity in humans and other living systems, as they provide protection against infectious pathogens and regulate the immune response. Here, we report the solution structure of rattusin (RTSN), an α-defensin-related peptide, which revealed a novel C2-symmetric disulfide-linked dimeric structure. RTSN was synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) and refolded by air oxidation in vitro. Dimerization of the refolded RTSN (r-RTSN) resulted from five intermolecular disulfide (SS) bond exchanges formed by ten cysteines within two protomer chains. The SS bond pairings of r-RTSN were determined by mass analysis of peptide fragments cleaved by trypsin digestion. In addition to mass analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments for a C15S mutant and r-RTSN confirmed that the intermolecular SS bond structure of r-RTSN showed an I-V’, II-IV’, III-III’, IV-II’, V-I’ arrangement. The overall structure of r-RTSN exhibited a cylindrical array, similar to that of β-sandwich folds, with a highly basic surface. Furthermore, fluorescence spectroscopy results suggest that r-RTSN exerts bactericidal activity by damaging membrane integrity. Collectively, these results provide a novel structural scaffold for designing highly potent peptide-based antibiotics suitable for use under various physiological conditions. PMID:28345637

  11. Crystal Structure of West Nile Virus Envelope Glycoprotein Reveals Viral Surface Epitopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kanai,R.; Kar, K.; Anthony, K.; Gould, L.; Ledizet, M.; Fikrig, E.; Marasco, W.; Koski, R.; Modis, Y.

    2006-01-01

    West Nile virus, a member of the Flavivirus genus, causes fever that can progress to life-threatening encephalitis. The major envelope glycoprotein, E, of these viruses mediates viral attachment and entry by membrane fusion. We have determined the crystal structure of a soluble fragment of West Nile virus E. The structure adopts the same overall fold as that of the E proteins from dengue and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. The conformation of domain II is different from that in other prefusion E structures, however, and resembles the conformation of domain II in postfusion E structures. The epitopes of neutralizing West Nile virus-specific antibodies map to a region of domain III that is exposed on the viral surface and has been implicated in receptor binding. In contrast, we show that certain recombinant therapeutic antibodies, which cross-neutralize West Nile and dengue viruses, bind a peptide from domain I that is exposed only during the membrane fusion transition. By revealing the details of the molecular landscape of the West Nile virus surface, our structure will assist the design of antiviral vaccines and therapeutics.

  12. Highly distinct chromosomal structures in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), as revealed by molecular cytogenetic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata-Otsubo, Aiko; Lin, Jer-Young; Gill, Navdeep; Jackson, Scott A

    2016-05-01

    Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) is an important legume, particularly in developing countries. However, little is known about its genome or chromosome structure. We used molecular cytogenetics to characterize the structure of pachytene chromosomes to advance our knowledge of chromosome and genome organization of cowpea. Our data showed that cowpea has highly distinct chromosomal structures that are cytologically visible as brightly DAPI-stained heterochromatic regions. Analysis of the repetitive fraction of the cowpea genome present at centromeric and pericentromeric regions confirmed that two retrotransposons are major components of pericentromeric regions and that a 455-bp tandem repeat is found at seven out of 11 centromere pairs in cowpea. These repeats likely evolved after the divergence of cowpea from common bean and form chromosomal structure unique to cowpea. The integration of cowpea genetic and physical chromosome maps reveals potential regions of suppressed recombination due to condensed heterochromatin and a lack of pairing in a few chromosomal termini. This study provides fundamental knowledge on cowpea chromosome structure and molecular cytogenetics tools for further chromosome studies.

  13. Protein structural dynamics revealed by time-resolved X-ray solution scattering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong Goo; Kim, Tae Wu; Kim, Jeongho; Ihee, Hyotcherl

    2015-08-18

    One of the most important questions in biological science is how a protein functions. When a protein performs its function, it undergoes regulated structural transitions. In this regard, to better understand the underlying principle of a protein function, it is desirable to monitor the dynamic evolution of the protein structure in real time. To probe fast and subtle motions of a protein in physiological conditions demands an experimental tool that is not only equipped with superb spatiotemporal resolution but also applicable to samples in solution phase. Time-resolved X-ray solution scattering (TRXSS), discussed in this Account, fits all of those requirements needed for probing the movements of proteins in aqueous solution. The technique utilizes a pump-probe scheme employing an optical pump pulse to initiate photoreactions of proteins and an X-ray probe pulse to monitor ensuing structural changes. The technical advances in ultrafast lasers and X-ray sources allow us to achieve superb temporal resolution down to femtoseconds. Because X-rays scatter off all atomic pairs in a protein, an X-ray scattering pattern provides information on the global structure of the protein with subangstrom spatial resolution. Importantly, TRXSS is readily applicable to aqueous solution samples of proteins with the aid of theoretical models and therefore is well suited for investigating structural dynamics of protein transitions in physiological conditions. In this Account, we demonstrate that TRXSS can be used to probe real-time structural dynamics of proteins in solution ranging from subtle helix movement to global conformational change. Specifically, we discuss the photoreactions of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) and homodimeric hemoglobin (HbI). For PYP, we revealed the kinetics of structural transitions among four transient intermediates comprising a photocycle and, by applying structural analysis based on ab initio shape reconstruction, showed that the signaling of PYP involves

  14. Iron Isotope Fractionation Reveals Structural Change upon Microbial and Chemical Reduction of Nontronite NAu-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, K.; Wu, L.; Shi, B.; Smeaton, C. M.; Li, W.; Beard, B. L.; Johnson, C.; Roden, E. E.; Van Cappellen, P.

    2015-12-01

    Iron (Fe) isotope fractionations were determined during reduction of structural Fe(III) in nontronite NAu-1 biologically by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and chemically by dithionite. ~10% reduction was achieved in biological reactors, with similar reduction extents obtained by dithionite. We hypothesize that two stages occurred in our reactors. Firstly, reduction started from edge sites of clays and the produced Fe(II) partially remained in situ and partially was released into solution. Next aqueous Fe(II) adsorbed onto basal planes. The basal sorbed Fe(II) then undergoes electron transfer and atom exchange (ETAE) with octahedral Fe(III) in clays, with the most negative fractionation factor Δ56Febasal Fe(II)-structural Fe(III)of -1.7‰ when basal sorption reached a threshold value. Secondly, when the most reactive Fe(III) was exhausted, bioreduction significantly slowed down and chemical reduction was able to achieve 24% due to diffusion of small size dithionite. Importantly, no ETAE occurred between basal Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) due to blockage of pathways by collapsed clay layers. This two-stage process in our reduction experiments is distinctive from abiotic exchange experiments by mixing aqueous Fe(II) and NAu-1, where no structural change of clay would block ETAE between basal Fe(II) and structural Fe(III). The separation of reduction sites (clay edges) and sorption sites (basal planes) is unique to clay minerals with layered structure. In contrast, reduction and sorption occur on the same sites on the surfaces of Fe oxyhydroxides, where reduction does not induce structure change. Thus, the Fe isotope fractionations are the same for reduction and abiotic exchange experiments for Fe oxides. Our study reveals important changes in electron transfer and atom exchange pathways upon reduction of clay minerals by dissimilatory Fe reducing bacteria, which is prevalent in anoxic soils and sediments.

  15. The structure of ribosome-lankacidin complex reveals ribosomal sites for synergistic antibiotics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Auerbach, Tamar; Mermershtain, Inbal; Davidovich, Chen; Bashan, Anat; Belousoff, Matthew; Wekselman, Itai; Zimmerman, Ella; Xiong, Liqun; Klepacki, Dorota; Arakawa, Kenji; Kinashi, Haruyasu; Mankin, Alexander S.; Yonath, Ada (Hiroshima); (WIS-I); (UIC)

    2010-04-26

    Crystallographic analysis revealed that the 17-member polyketide antibiotic lankacidin produced by Streptomyces rochei binds at the peptidyl transferase center of the eubacterial large ribosomal subunit. Biochemical and functional studies verified this finding and showed interference with peptide bond formation. Chemical probing indicated that the macrolide lankamycin, a second antibiotic produced by the same species, binds at a neighboring site, at the ribosome exit tunnel. These two antibiotics can bind to the ribosome simultaneously and display synergy in inhibiting bacterial growth. The binding site of lankacidin and lankamycin partially overlap with the binding site of another pair of synergistic antibiotics, the streptogramins. Thus, at least two pairs of structurally dissimilar compounds have been selected in the course of evolution to act synergistically by targeting neighboring sites in the ribosome. These results underscore the importance of the corresponding ribosomal sites for development of clinically relevant synergistic antibiotics and demonstrate the utility of structural analysis for providing new directions for drug discovery.

  16. Structure of Prokaryotic Polyamine Deacetylase Reveals Evolutionary Functional Relationships with Eukaryotic Histone Deacetylases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P Lombardi; H Angell; D Whittington; E Flynn; K Rajashankar; D Christianson

    2011-12-31

    Polyamines are a ubiquitous class of polycationic small molecules that can influence gene expression by binding to nucleic acids. Reversible polyamine acetylation regulates nucleic acid binding and is required for normal cell cycle progression and proliferation. Here, we report the structures of Mycoplana ramosa acetylpolyamine amidohydrolase (APAH) complexed with a transition state analogue and a hydroxamate inhibitor and an inactive mutant complexed with two acetylpolyamine substrates. The structure of APAH is the first of a histone deacetylase-like oligomer and reveals that an 18-residue insert in the L2 loop promotes dimerization and the formation of an 18 {angstrom} long 'L'-shaped active site tunnel at the dimer interface, accessible only to narrow and flexible substrates. The importance of dimerization for polyamine deacetylase function leads to the suggestion that a comparable dimeric or double-domain histone deacetylase could catalyze polyamine deacetylation reactions in eukaryotes.

  17. Structure of P-Glycoprotein Reveals a Molecular Basis for Poly-Specific Drug Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aller, Stephen G.; Yu, Jodie; Ward, Andrew; Weng, Yue; Chittaboina, Srinivas; Zhuo, Rupeng; Harrell, Patina M.; Trinh, Yenphuong T.; Zhang, Qinghai; Urbatsch, Ina L.; Chang, Geoffrey; (Scripps); (TTU)

    2009-04-22

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp) detoxifies cells by exporting hundreds of chemically unrelated toxins but has been implicated in multidrug resistance (MDR) in the treatment of cancers. Substrate promiscuity is a hallmark of P-gp activity, thus a structural description of poly-specific drug-binding is important for the rational design of anticancer drugs and MDR inhibitors. The x-ray structure of apo P-gp at 3.8 angstroms reveals an internal cavity of -6000 angstroms cubed with a 30 angstrom separation of the two nucleotide-binding domains. Two additional P-gp structures with cyclic peptide inhibitors demonstrate distinct drug-binding sites in the internal cavity capable of stereoselectivity that is based on hydrophobic and aromatic interactions. Apo and drug-bound P-gp structures have portals open to the cytoplasm and the inner leaflet of the lipid bilayer for drug entry. The inward-facing conformation represents an initial stage of the transport cycle that is competent for drug binding.

  18. A butterfly in the making revealing the near-infrared structure of Hubble 12

    CERN Document Server

    Hora, J L; Hora, Joseph L; Latter, William B

    1995-01-01

    We present deep narrowband near-IR images and moderate resolution spectra of the young planetary nebula Hubble 12. These data are the first to show clearly the complex structure for this important planetary nebula. Images were obtained at lambda = 2.12, 2.16, and 2.26 micron. The lambda = 2.12 micron image reveals the bipolar nature of the nebula, as well as complex structure near the central star in the equatorial region. The images show an elliptical region of emission which may indicate a ring or a cylindrical source structure. This structure is possibly related to the mechanism which is producing the bipolar flow. The spectra show the nature of several distinct components. The central object is dominated by recombination lines of H I and He I. The core is not a significant source of molecular hydrogen emission. The east position in the equatorial region is rich in lines of ultraviolet--excited fluorescent H2. A spectrum of part of the central region shows strong [Fe II] emission which might indicate the p...

  19. Force spectroscopy reveals the presence of structurally modified dimers in transthyretin amyloid annular oligomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Ricardo H; Saraiva, Maria J; Damas, Ana M; Kellermayer, Miklós S Z

    2017-03-01

    Toxicity in amyloidogenic protein misfolding disorders is thought to involve intermediate states of aggregation associated with the formation of amyloid fibrils. Despite their relevance, the heterogeneity and transience of these oligomers have placed great barriers in our understanding of their structural properties. Among amyloid intermediates, annular oligomers or annular protofibrils have raised considerable interest because they may contribute to a mechanism of cellular toxicity via membrane permeation. Here we investigated, by using AFM force spectroscopy, the structural detail of amyloid annular oligomers from transthyretin (TTR), a protein involved in systemic and neurodegenerative amyloidogenic disorders. Manipulation was performed in situ, in the absence of molecular handles and using persistence length-fit values to select relevant curves. Force curves reveal the presence of dimers in TTR annular oligomers that unfold via a series of structural intermediates. This is in contrast with the manipulation of native TTR that was more often manipulated over length scales compatible with a TTR monomer and without unfolding intermediates. Imaging and force spectroscopy data suggest that dimers are formed by the assembly of monomers in a head-to-head orientation with a nonnative interface along their β-strands. Furthermore, these dimers stack through nonnative contacts that may enhance the stability of the misfolded structure. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. The Structure of Neurexin 1[alpha] Reveals Features Promoting a Role as Synaptic Organizer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Fang; Venugopal, Vandavasi; Murray, Beverly; Rudenko, Gabby (Michigan)

    2014-10-02

    {alpha}-Neurexins are essential synaptic adhesion molecules implicated in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. The {alpha}-neurexin extracellular domain consists of six LNS domains interspersed by three EGF-like repeats and interacts with many different proteins in the synaptic cleft. To understand how {alpha}-neurexins might function as synaptic organizers, we solved the structure of the neurexin 1{alpha} extracellular domain (n1{alpha}) to 2.65 {angstrom}. The L-shaped molecule can be divided into a flexible repeat I (LNS1-EGF-A-LNS2), a rigid horseshoe-shaped repeat II (LNS3-EGF-B-LNS4) with structural similarity to so-called reelin repeats, and an extended repeat III (LNS5-EGF-B-LNS6) with controlled flexibility. A 2.95 {angstrom} structure of n1{alpha} carrying splice insert SS3 in LNS4 reveals that SS3 protrudes as a loop and does not alter the rigid arrangement of repeat II. The global architecture imposed by conserved structural features enables {alpha}-neurexins to recruit and organize proteins in distinct and variable ways, influenced by splicing, thereby promoting synaptic function.

  1. The structure of apo tryptophanase from Escherichia coli reveals a wide-open conformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsesin, Natalia; Kogan, Anna; Gdalevsky, Garik Y; Himanen, Juha Pekka; Cohen-Luria, Rivka; Parola, Abraham H; Goldgur, Yehuda; Almog, Orna

    2007-09-01

    The crystal structure of apo tryptophanase from Escherichia coli (space group F222, unit-cell parameters a = 118.4, b = 120.1, c = 171.2 A) was determined at 1.9 A resolution using the molecular-replacement method and refined to an R factor of 20.3% (R(free) = 23.2%). The structure revealed a significant shift in the relative orientation of the domains compared with both the holo form of Proteus vulgaris tryptophanase and with another crystal structure of apo E. coli tryptophanase, reflecting the internal flexibility of the molecule. Domain shifts were previously observed in tryptophanase and in the closely related enzyme tyrosine phenol-lyase, with the holo form found in an open conformation and the apo form in either an open or a closed conformation. Here, a wide-open conformation of the apo form of tryptophanase is reported. A conformational change is also observed in loop 297-303. The structure contains a hydrated Mg(2+) at the cation-binding site and a Cl(-) ion at the subunit interface. The enzyme activity depends on the nature of the bound cation, with smaller ions serving as inhibitors. It is hypothesized that this effect arises from variations of the coordination geometry of the bound cation.

  2. A Butterfly in the Making: Revealing the Near-Infrared Structure of Hubble 12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hora, Joseph L.; Latter, William B.

    1996-01-01

    We present deep narrowband near-IR images and moderate resolution spectra of the young planetary nebula Hubble 12. These data are the first to show clearly the complex structure for this important planetary nebula. Images were obtained at lambda = 2.12, 2.16, and 2.26 micron. The lambda = 2.12 Am image reveals the bipolar nature of the nebula, as well as complex structure near the central star in the equatorial region. The images show an elliptical region of emission, which may indicate a ring or a cylindrical source structure. This structure is possibly related to the mechanism that is producing the bipolar flow. The spectra show the nature of several distinct components. The central object is dominated by recombination lines of H I and He I. The core is not a significant source of molecular hydrogen emission. The east position in the equatorial region is rich in lines of ultraviolet-excited fluorescent H2. A spectrum of part of the central region shows strong [Fe II] emission, which might indicate the presence of shocks.

  3. Structure of Oxidized Alpha-Haemoglobin Bound to AHSP Reveals a Protective Mechanism for HAEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng,L.; Zhou, S.; Gu, L.; Gell, D.; MacKay, J.; Weiss, M.; Gow, A.; Shi, Y.

    2005-01-01

    The synthesis of hemoglobin A (HbA) is exquisitely coordinated during erythrocyte development to prevent damaging effects from individual {alpha}- and {beta}-subunits. The {alpha}-hemoglobin-stabilizing protein (AHSP) binds {alpha}-hemoglobin ({alpha}Hb), inhibits the ability of {alpha}Hb to generate reactive oxygen species and prevents its precipitation on exposure to oxidant stress. The structure of AHSP bound to ferrous {alpha}Hb is thought to represent a transitional complex through which {alpha}Hb is converted to a non-reactive, hexacoordinate ferric form. Here we report the crystal structure of this ferric {alpha}Hb-AHSP complex at 2.4 Angstrom resolution. Our findings reveal a striking bis-histidyl configuration in which both the proximal and the distal histidines coordinate the haem iron atom. To attain this unusual conformation, segments of {alpha}Hb undergo drastic structural rearrangements, including the repositioning of several {alpha}-helices. Moreover, conversion to the ferric bis-histidine configuration strongly and specifically inhibits redox chemistry catalysis and haem loss from {alpha}Hb. The observed structural changes, which impair the chemical reactivity of haem iron, explain how AHSP stabilizes {alpha}Hb and prevents its damaging effects in cells.

  4. Quantum Yield Heterogeneity among Single Nonblinking Quantum Dots Revealed by Atomic Structure-Quantum Optics Correlation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orfield, Noah J; McBride, James R; Wang, Feng; Buck, Matthew R; Keene, Joseph D; Reid, Kemar R; Htoon, Han; Hollingsworth, Jennifer A; Rosenthal, Sandra J

    2016-02-23

    Physical variations in colloidal nanostructures give rise to heterogeneity in expressed optical behavior. This correlation between nanoscale structure and function demands interrogation of both atomic structure and photophysics at the level of single nanostructures to be fully understood. Herein, by conducting detailed analyses of fine atomic structure, chemical composition, and time-resolved single-photon photoluminescence data for the same individual nanocrystals, we reveal inhomogeneity in the quantum yields of single nonblinking "giant" CdSe/CdS core/shell quantum dots (g-QDs). We find that each g-QD possesses distinctive single exciton and biexciton quantum yields that result mainly from variations in the degree of charging, rather than from volume or structure inhomogeneity. We further establish that there is a very limited nonemissive "dark" fraction (<2%) among the studied g-QDs and present direct evidence that the g-QD core must lack inorganic passivation for the g-QD to be "dark". Therefore, in contrast to conventional QDs, ensemble photoluminescence quantum yield is principally defined by charging processes rather than the existence of dark g-QDs.

  5. Correlative infrared-electron nanoscopy reveals the local structure-conductivity relationship in zinc oxide nanowires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, J M; Tena-Zaera, R; Idigoras, O; Chuvilin, A; Hillenbrand, R

    2012-01-01

    High-resolution characterization methods play a key role in the development, analysis and optimization of nanoscale materials and devices. Because of the various material properties, only a combination of different characterization techniques provides a comprehensive understanding of complex functional materials. Here we introduce correlative infrared-electron nanoscopy, a novel method yielding transmission electron microscope and infrared near-field images of one and the same nanostructure. While transmission electron microscopy provides structural information up to the atomic level, infrared near-field imaging yields nanoscale maps of chemical composition and conductivity. We demonstrate the method's potential by studying the relation between conductivity and crystal structure in ZnO nanowire cross-sections. The combination of infrared conductivity maps and the local crystal structure reveals a radial free-carrier gradient, which inversely correlates to the density of extended crystalline defects. Our method opens new avenues for studying the local interplay between structure, conductivity and chemical composition in widely different material systems.

  6. Chromosome-specific segmentation revealed by structural analysis of individually isolated chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitada, Kunio; Taima, Akira; Ogasawara, Kiyomoto; Metsugi, Shouichi; Aikawa, Satoko

    2011-04-01

    Analysis of structural rearrangements at the individual chromosomal level is still technologically challenging. Here we optimized a chromosome isolation method using fluorescent marker-assisted laser-capture and laser-beam microdissection and applied it to structural analysis of two aberrant chromosomes found in a lung cancer cell line. A high-density array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) analysis of DNA samples prepared from each of the chromosomes revealed that these two chromosomes contained 296 and 263 segments, respectively, ranging from 1.5 kb to 784.3 kb in size, derived from different portions of chromosome 8. Among these segments, 242 were common in both aberrant chromosomes, but 75 were found to be chromosome-specific. Sequences of 263 junction sites connecting the ends of segments were determined using a PCR/Sanger-sequencing procedure. Overlapping microhomologies were found at 169 junction sites. Junction partners came from various portions of chromosome 8 and no biased pattern in the positional distribution of junction partners was detected. These structural characteristics suggested the occurrence of random fragmentation of the entire chromosome 8 followed by random rejoining of these fragments. Based on that, we proposed a model to explain how these aberrant chromosomes are formed. Through these structural analyses, it was demonstrated that the optimized chromosome isolation method described here can provide high-quality chromosomal DNA for high resolution array-CGH analysis and probably for massively parallel sequencing analysis.

  7. Structures of inactive retinoblastoma protein reveal multiple mechanisms for cell cycle control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke, Jason R.; Hura, Greg L.; Rubin, Seth M. (UCSC); (LBNL)

    2012-07-18

    Cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) phosphorylation of the Retinoblastoma protein (Rb) drives cell proliferation through inhibition of Rb complexes with E2F transcription factors and other regulatory proteins. We present the first structures of phosphorylated Rb that reveal the mechanism of its inactivation. S608 phosphorylation orders a flexible 'pocket' domain loop such that it mimics and directly blocks E2F transactivation domain (E2F{sup TD}) binding. T373 phosphorylation induces a global conformational change that associates the pocket and N-terminal domains (RbN). This first multidomain Rb structure demonstrates a novel role for RbN in allosterically inhibiting the E2F{sup TD}-pocket association and protein binding to the pocket 'LxCxE' site. Together, these structures detail the regulatory mechanism for a canonical growth-repressive complex and provide a novel example of how multisite Cdk phosphorylation induces diverse structural changes to influence cell cycle signaling.

  8. Structure and Evolution of the Lunar Procellarum Region as Revealed by GRAIL Gravity Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews-Hanna, Jeffrey C.; Besserer, Jonathan; Head, James W., III; Howett, Carly J. A.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Lucey, Paul J.; McGovern, Patrick J.; Melosh, H. Jay; Neumann, Gregory A.; Phillips, Roger J.; Schenk, Paul M.; Smith, David E.; Solomon, Sean C.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2014-01-01

    The Procellarum region is a broad area on the nearside of the Moon that is characterized by low elevations, thin crust, and high surface concentrations of the heat-producing elements uranium, thorium, and potassium. The Procellarum region has been interpreted as an ancient impact basin approximately 3200 km in diameter, though supporting evidence at the surface would have been largely obscured as a result of the great antiquity and poor preservation of any diagnostic features. Here we use data from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission to examine the subsurface structure of Procellarum. The Bouguer gravity anomalies and gravity gradients reveal a pattern of narrow linear anomalies that border the Procellarum region and are interpreted to be the frozen remnants of lava-filled rifts and the underlying feeder dikes that served as the magma plumbing system for much of the nearside mare volcanism. The discontinuous surface structures that were earlier interpreted as remnants of an impact basin rim are shown in GRAIL data to be a part of this continuous set of quasi-rectangular border structures with angular intersections, contrary to the expected circular or elliptical shape of an impact basin. The spatial pattern of magmatic-tectonic structures bounding Procellarum is consistent with their formation in response to thermal stresses produced by the differential cooling of the province relative to its surroundings, coupled with magmatic activity driven by the elevated heat flux in the region.

  9. Nuclear receptor engineering based on novel structure activity relationships revealed by farnesyl pyrophosphate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyanka, Ritu; Das, Sharmistha; Samuels, Herbert H; Cardozo, Timothy

    2010-11-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) comprise the second largest protein family targeted by currently available drugs, acting via specific ligand interactions within the ligand binding domain (LBD). Recently, farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) was shown to be a unique promiscuous NR ligand, activating a subset of NR family members and inhibiting wound healing in skin. The current study aimed at visualizing the unique basis of FPP interaction with multiple receptors in order to identify general structure-activity relationships that operate across the NR family. Docking of FPP to the 3D structures of the LBDs of a diverse set of NRs consistently revealed an electrostatic FPP pyrophosphate contact with an NR arginine conserved in the NR family, a hydrophobic farnesyl contact with NR helix-12 and a ligand binding pocket volume between 300 and 430 Å(3) as the minimal requirements for FPP activation of any NR. Lack of any of these structural features appears to render a given NR resistant to FPP activation. We used these structure-activity relationships to rationally design and successfully engineer several mutant human estrogen receptors that retain responsiveness to estradiol but no longer respond to FPP.

  10. Correlative infrared-electron nanoscopy reveals the local structure-conductivity relationship in zinc oxide nanowires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, J. M.; Tena-Zaera, R.; Idigoras, O.; Chuvilin, A.; Hillenbrand, R.

    2012-10-01

    High-resolution characterization methods play a key role in the development, analysis and optimization of nanoscale materials and devices. Because of the various material properties, only a combination of different characterization techniques provides a comprehensive understanding of complex functional materials. Here we introduce correlative infrared-electron nanoscopy, a novel method yielding transmission electron microscope and infrared near-field images of one and the same nanostructure. While transmission electron microscopy provides structural information up to the atomic level, infrared near-field imaging yields nanoscale maps of chemical composition and conductivity. We demonstrate the method's potential by studying the relation between conductivity and crystal structure in ZnO nanowire cross-sections. The combination of infrared conductivity maps and the local crystal structure reveals a radial free-carrier gradient, which inversely correlates to the density of extended crystalline defects. Our method opens new avenues for studying the local interplay between structure, conductivity and chemical composition in widely different material systems.

  11. The Structure of the MAP2K MEK6 Reveals an Autoinhibitory Dimer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Min, Xiaoshan; Akella, Radha; He, Haixia; Humphreys, John M.; Tsutakawa, Susan E.; Lee, Seung-Jae; Tainer, John A.; Cobb, Melanie H.; Goldsmith, Elizabeth J.

    2009-07-13

    MAP2Ks are dual-specificity protein kinases functioning at the center of three-tiered MAP kinase modules. The structure of the kinase domain of the MAP2K MEK6 with phosphorylation site mimetic aspartic acid mutations (MEK6/{Delta}N/DD) has been solved at 2.3 {angstrom} resolution. The structure reveals an autoinhibited elongated ellipsoidal dimer. The enzyme adopts an inactive conformation, based upon structural queues, despite the phosphomimetic mutations. Gel filtration and small-angle X-ray scattering analysis confirm that the crystallographically observed ellipsoidal dimer is a feature of MEK6/{Delta}N/DD and full-length unphosphorylated wild-type MEK6 in solution. The interface includes the phosphate binding ribbon of each subunit, part of the activation loop, and a rare 'arginine stack' between symmetry-related arginine residues in the N-terminal lobe. The autoinhibited structure likely confers specificity on active MAP2Ks. The dimer may also serve the function in unphosphorylated MEK6 of preventing activation loop phosphorylation by inappropriate kinases.

  12. The probabilistic niche model reveals substantial variation in the niche structure of empirical food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard J; Purves, Drew W

    2011-09-01

    The structure of food webs, complex networks of interspecies feeding interactions, plays a crucial role in ecosystem resilience and function, and understanding food web structure remains a central problem in ecology. Previous studies have shown that key features of empirical food webs can be reproduced by low-dimensional "niche" models. Here we examine the form and variability of food web niche structure by fitting a probabilistic niche model to 37 empirical food webs, a much larger number of food webs than used in previous studies. The model relaxes previous assumptions about parameter distributions and hierarchy and returns parameter estimates for each species in each web. The model significantly outperforms previous niche model variants and also performs well for several webs where a body-size-based niche model performs poorly, implying that traits other than body size are important in structuring these webs' niche space. Parameter estimates frequently violate previous models' assumptions: in 19 of 37 webs, parameter values are not significantly hierarchical, 32 of 37 webs have nonuniform niche value distributions, and 15 of 37 webs lack a correlation between niche width and niche position. Extending the model to a two-dimensional niche space yields networks with a mixture of one- and two-dimensional niches and provides a significantly better fit for webs with a large number of species and links. These results confirm that food webs are strongly niche-structured but reveal substantial variation in the form of the niche structuring, a result with fundamental implications for ecosystem resilience and function.

  13. The structure of HasB reveals a new class of TonB protein fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Amorim, Gisele Cardoso; Prochnicka-Chalufour, Ada; Delepelaire, Philippe; Lefèvre, Julien; Simenel, Catherine; Wandersman, Cécile; Delepierre, Muriel; Izadi-Pruneyre, Nadia

    2013-01-01

    TonB is a key protein in active transport of essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and metal sources through the outer membrane transporters of Gram-negative bacteria. This inner membrane protein spans the periplasm, contacts the outer membrane receptor by its periplasmic domain and transduces energy from the cytoplasmic membrane pmf to the receptor allowing nutrient internalization. Whereas generally a single TonB protein allows the acquisition of several nutrients through their cognate receptor, in some species one particular TonB is dedicated to a specific system. Despite a considerable amount of data available, the molecular mechanism of TonB-dependent active transport is still poorly understood. In this work, we present a structural study of a TonB-like protein, HasB dedicated to the HasR receptor. HasR acquires heme either free or via an extracellular heme transporter, the hemophore HasA. Heme is used as an iron source by bacteria. We have solved the structure of the HasB periplasmic domain of Serratia marcescens and describe its interaction with a critical region of HasR. Some important differences are observed between HasB and TonB structures. The HasB fold reveals a new structural class of TonB-like proteins. Furthermore, we have identified the structural features that explain the functional specificity of HasB. These results give a new insight into the molecular mechanism of nutrient active transport through the bacterial outer membrane and present the first detailed structural study of a specific TonB-like protein and its interaction with the receptor.

  14. Structural Model of RNA Polymerase II Elongation Complex with Complete Transcription Bubble Reveals NTP Entry Routes.

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    Lu Zhang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The RNA polymerase II (Pol II is a eukaryotic enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of the messenger RNA using a DNA template. Despite numerous biochemical and biophysical studies, it remains elusive whether the "secondary channel" is the only route for NTP to reach the active site of the enzyme or if the "main channel" could be an alternative. On this regard, crystallographic structures of Pol II have been extremely useful to understand the structural basis of transcription, however, the conformation of the unpaired non-template DNA part of the full transcription bubble (TB is still unknown. Since diffusion routes of the nucleoside triphosphate (NTP substrate through the main channel might overlap with the TB region, gaining structural information of the full TB is critical for a complete understanding of Pol II transcription process. In this study, we have built a structural model of Pol II with a complete transcription bubble based on multiple sources of existing structural data and used Molecular Dynamics (MD simulations together with structural analysis to shed light on NTP entry pathways. Interestingly, we found that although both channels have enough space to allow NTP loading, the percentage of MD conformations containing enough space for NTP loading through the secondary channel is twice higher than that of the main channel. Further energetic study based on MD simulations with NTP loaded in the channels has revealed that the diffusion of the NTP through the main channel is greatly disfavored by electrostatic repulsion between the NTP and the highly negatively charged backbones of nucleotides in the non-template DNA strand. Taken together, our results suggest that the secondary channel is the major route for NTP entry during Pol II transcription.

  15. Structural Model of RNA Polymerase II Elongation Complex with Complete Transcription Bubble Reveals NTP Entry Routes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lu; Silva, Daniel-Adriano; Pardo-Avila, Fátima; Wang, Dong; Huang, Xuhui

    2015-07-01

    The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is a eukaryotic enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of the messenger RNA using a DNA template. Despite numerous biochemical and biophysical studies, it remains elusive whether the "secondary channel" is the only route for NTP to reach the active site of the enzyme or if the "main channel" could be an alternative. On this regard, crystallographic structures of Pol II have been extremely useful to understand the structural basis of transcription, however, the conformation of the unpaired non-template DNA part of the full transcription bubble (TB) is still unknown. Since diffusion routes of the nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) substrate through the main channel might overlap with the TB region, gaining structural information of the full TB is critical for a complete understanding of Pol II transcription process. In this study, we have built a structural model of Pol II with a complete transcription bubble based on multiple sources of existing structural data and used Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations together with structural analysis to shed light on NTP entry pathways. Interestingly, we found that although both channels have enough space to allow NTP loading, the percentage of MD conformations containing enough space for NTP loading through the secondary channel is twice higher than that of the main channel. Further energetic study based on MD simulations with NTP loaded in the channels has revealed that the diffusion of the NTP through the main channel is greatly disfavored by electrostatic repulsion between the NTP and the highly negatively charged backbones of nucleotides in the non-template DNA strand. Taken together, our results suggest that the secondary channel is the major route for NTP entry during Pol II transcription.

  16. The structure of HasB reveals a new class of TonB protein fold.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisele Cardoso de Amorim

    Full Text Available TonB is a key protein in active transport of essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and metal sources through the outer membrane transporters of Gram-negative bacteria. This inner membrane protein spans the periplasm, contacts the outer membrane receptor by its periplasmic domain and transduces energy from the cytoplasmic membrane pmf to the receptor allowing nutrient internalization. Whereas generally a single TonB protein allows the acquisition of several nutrients through their cognate receptor, in some species one particular TonB is dedicated to a specific system. Despite a considerable amount of data available, the molecular mechanism of TonB-dependent active transport is still poorly understood. In this work, we present a structural study of a TonB-like protein, HasB dedicated to the HasR receptor. HasR acquires heme either free or via an extracellular heme transporter, the hemophore HasA. Heme is used as an iron source by bacteria. We have solved the structure of the HasB periplasmic domain of Serratia marcescens and describe its interaction with a critical region of HasR. Some important differences are observed between HasB and TonB structures. The HasB fold reveals a new structural class of TonB-like proteins. Furthermore, we have identified the structural features that explain the functional specificity of HasB. These results give a new insight into the molecular mechanism of nutrient active transport through the bacterial outer membrane and present the first detailed structural study of a specific TonB-like protein and its interaction with the receptor.

  17. Revealing divergent evolution, identifying circular permutations and detecting active-sites by protein structure comparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Yong

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein structure comparison is one of the most important problems in computational biology and plays a key role in protein structure prediction, fold family classification, motif finding, phylogenetic tree reconstruction and protein docking. Results We propose a novel method to compare the protein structures in an accurate and efficient manner. Such a method can be used to not only reveal divergent evolution, but also identify circular permutations and further detect active-sites. Specifically, we define the structure alignment as a multi-objective optimization problem, i.e., maximizing the number of aligned atoms and minimizing their root mean square distance. By controlling a single distance-related parameter, theoretically we can obtain a variety of optimal alignments corresponding to different optimal matching patterns, i.e., from a large matching portion to a small matching portion. The number of variables in our algorithm increases with the number of atoms of protein pairs in almost a linear manner. In addition to solid theoretical background, numerical experiments demonstrated significant improvement of our approach over the existing methods in terms of quality and efficiency. In particular, we show that divergent evolution, circular permutations and active-sites (or structural motifs can be identified by our method. The software SAMO is available upon request from the authors, or from http://zhangroup.aporc.org/bioinfo/samo/ and http://intelligent.eic.osaka-sandai.ac.jp/chenen/samo.htm. Conclusion A novel formulation is proposed to accurately align protein structures in the framework of multi-objective optimization, based on a sequence order-independent strategy. A fast and accurate algorithm based on the bipartite matching algorithm is developed by exploiting the special features. Convergence of computation is shown in experiments and is also theoretically proven.

  18. Altered brain structural networks in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children revealed by cortical thickness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tian; Chen, Yanni; Li, Chenxi; Li, Youjun; Wang, Jue

    2017-01-18

    This study investigated the cortical thickness and topological features of human brain anatomical networks related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Data were collected from 40 attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children and 40 normal control children. Interregional correlation matrices were established by calculating the correlations of cortical thickness between all pairs of cortical regions (68 regions) of the whole brain. Further thresholds were applied to create binary matrices to construct a series of undirected and unweighted graphs, and global, local, and nodal efficiencies were computed as a function of the network cost. These experimental results revealed abnormal cortical thickness and correlations in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and showed that the brain structural networks of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder subjects had inefficient small-world topological features. Furthermore, their topological properties were altered abnormally. In particular, decreased global efficiency combined with increased local efficiency in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children led to a disorder-related shift of the network topological structure toward regular networks. In addition, nodal efficiency, cortical thickness, and correlation analyses revealed that several brain regions were altered in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients. These findings are in accordance with a hypothesis of dysfunctional integration and segregation of the brain in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide further evidence of brain dysfunction in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients by observing cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging.

  19. Crystal structure of Zebrafish interferons I and II reveals conservation of type I interferon structure in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamming, Ole Jensen; Lutfalla, Georges; Levraud, Jean-Pierre; Hartmann, Rune

    2011-08-01

    Interferons (IFNs) play a major role in orchestrating the innate immune response toward viruses in vertebrates, and their defining characteristic is their ability to induce an antiviral state in responsive cells. Interferons have been reported in a multitude of species, from bony fish to mammals. However, our current knowledge about the molecular function of fish IFNs as well as their evolutionary relationship to tetrapod IFNs is limited. Here we establish the three-dimensional (3D) structure of zebrafish IFNϕ1 and IFNϕ2 by crystallography. These high-resolution structures offer the first structural insight into fish cytokines. Tetrapods possess two types of IFNs that play an immediate antiviral role: type I IFNs (e.g., alpha interferon [IFN-α] and beta interferon [IFN-β]) and type III IFNs (lambda interferon [IFN-λ]), and each type is characterized by its specific receptor usage. Similarly, two groups of antiviral IFNs with distinct receptors exist in fish, including zebrafish. IFNϕ1 and IFNϕ2 represent group I and group II IFNs, respectively. Nevertheless, both structures reported here reveal a characteristic type I IFN architecture with a straight F helix, as opposed to the remaining class II cytokines, including IFN-λ, where helix F contains a characteristic bend. Phylogenetic trees derived from structure-guided multiple alignments confirmed that both groups of fish IFNs are evolutionarily closer to type I than to type III tetrapod IFNs. Thus, these fish IFNs belong to the type I IFN family. Our results also imply that a dual antiviral IFN system has arisen twice during vertebrate evolution.

  20. Outlier SNP markers reveal fine-scale genetic structuring across European hake populations (Merluccius merluccius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milano, Ilaria; Babbucci, Massimiliano; Cariani, Alessia; Atanassova, Miroslava; Bekkevold, Dorte; Carvalho, Gary R; Espiñeira, Montserrat; Fiorentino, Fabio; Garofalo, Germana; Geffen, Audrey J; Hansen, Jakob H; Helyar, Sarah J; Nielsen, Einar E; Ogden, Rob; Patarnello, Tomaso; Stagioni, Marco; Tinti, Fausto; Bargelloni, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Shallow population structure is generally reported for most marine fish and explained as a consequence of high dispersal, connectivity and large population size. Targeted gene analyses and more recently genome-wide studies have challenged such view, suggesting that adaptive divergence might occur even when neutral markers provide genetic homogeneity across populations. Here, 381 SNPs located in transcribed regions were used to assess large- and fine-scale population structure in the European hake (Merluccius merluccius), a widely distributed demersal species of high priority for the European fishery. Analysis of 850 individuals from 19 locations across the entire distribution range showed evidence for several outlier loci, with significantly higher resolving power. While 299 putatively neutral SNPs confirmed the genetic break between basins (F(CT) = 0.016) and weak differentiation within basins, outlier loci revealed a dramatic divergence between Atlantic and Mediterranean populations (F(CT) range 0.275-0.705) and fine-scale significant population structure. Outlier loci separated North Sea and Northern Portugal populations from all other Atlantic samples and revealed a strong differentiation among Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean geographical samples. Significant correlation of allele frequencies at outlier loci with seawater surface temperature and salinity supported the hypothesis that populations might be adapted to local conditions. Such evidence highlights the importance of integrating information from neutral and adaptive evolutionary patterns towards a better assessment of genetic diversity. Accordingly, the generated outlier SNP data could be used for tackling illegal practices in hake fishing and commercialization as well as to develop explicit spatial models for defining management units and stock boundaries.

  1. Crustal structure of the western Yamato Basin, Japan Sea, revealed from seismic survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    No, T.; Sato, T.; Kodaira, S.; Miura, S.; Ishiyama, T.; Sato, H.

    2015-12-01

    The Yamato Basin is the second largest basin of the Japan Sea. This basin is important to clarify its formation process. Some studies of crustal structure had been carried out in the Yamato Basin (e.g. Ludwig et al., 1975; Katao, 1988; Hirata et al., 1989; Sato et al., 2006). However, the relationship between formation process and crustal structure is not very clear, because the amount of seismic exploration data is very limited. In addition, since there is ODP Leg 127 site 797 (Tamaki et al., 1990) directly beneath our seismic survey line, we contributed to the study on the formation of the Yamato Basin by examining the relation between the ODP results and our results. During July-August 2014, we conducted a multi-channel seismic (MCS) survey and ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) survey to study the crustal structure of the western Yamato Basin. We present an outline of the data acquisition and results of the data processing and preliminary interpretations from this study. As a result of our study, the crust, which is about 12 km thick, is thicker than standard oceanic crust (e.g., Spudich and Orcutt, 1980; White et al., 1992) revealed from P-wave velocity structure by OBS survey. A clear reflector estimated to be the Moho can be identified by MCS profiles. The characteristics of the sedimentary layer are common within the survey area. For example, a strong coherent reflector that is estimated to be an opal-A/opal-CT BSR (bottom simulating reflector) (Kuramoto et al., 1992) was confirmed in the sediment of all survey lines. On the other hand, a coherent reflector in the crust was confirmed in some lines. It is identified as this reflector corresponding with the deformation structure in the sediment and basement.

  2. The high resolution structure of tyrocidine A reveals an amphipathic dimer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loll, Patrick J; Upton, Elizabeth C; Nahoum, Virginie; Economou, Nicoleta J; Cocklin, Simon

    2014-05-01

    Tyrocidine A, one of the first antibiotics ever to be discovered, is a cyclic decapeptide that binds to membranes of target bacteria, disrupting their integrity. It is active against a broad spectrum of Gram-positive organisms, and has recently engendered interest as a potential scaffold for the development of new drugs to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens. We present here the X-ray crystal structure of tyrocidine A at a resolution of 0.95Å. The structure reveals that tyrocidine forms an intimate and highly amphipathic homodimer made up of four beta strands that associate into a single, highly curved antiparallel beta sheet. We used surface plasmon resonance and potassium efflux assays to demonstrate that tyrocidine binds tightly to mimetics of bacterial membranes with an apparent dissociation constant (K(D)) of 10 μM, and efficiently permeabilizes bacterial cells at concentrations equal to and below the K(D). Using variant forms of tyrocidine in which the fluorescent probe p-cyano-phenylalanine had been inserted on either the polar or apolar face of the molecule, we performed fluorescence quenching experiments, using both water-soluble and membrane-embedded quenchers. The quenching results, together with the structure, strongly support a membrane association model in which the convex, apolar face of tyrocidine's beta sheet is oriented toward the membrane interior, while the concave, polar face is presented to the aqueous phase.

  3. Crystal structure of an avian influenza polymerase PA[subscript N] reveals an endonuclease active site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, Puwei; Bartlam, Mark; Lou, Zhiyong; Chen, Shoudeng; Zhou, Jie; He, Xiaojing; Lv, Zongyang; Ge, Ruowen; Li, Xuemei; Deng, Tao; Fodor, Ervin; Rao, Zihe; Liu, Yingfang; (NU Sinapore); (Nankai); (Oxford); (Chinese Aca. Sci.); (Tsinghua)

    2009-11-10

    The heterotrimeric influenza virus polymerase, containing the PA, PB1 and PB2 proteins, catalyses viral RNA replication and transcription in the nucleus of infected cells. PB1 holds the polymerase active site and reportedly harbours endonuclease activity, whereas PB2 is responsible for cap binding. The PA amino terminus is understood to be the major functional part of the PA protein and has been implicated in several roles, including endonuclease and protease activities as well as viral RNA/complementary RNA promoter binding. Here we report the 2.2 angstrom (A) crystal structure of the N-terminal 197 residues of PA, termed PA(N), from an avian influenza H5N1 virus. The PA(N) structure has an alpha/beta architecture and reveals a bound magnesium ion coordinated by a motif similar to the (P)DX(N)(D/E)XK motif characteristic of many endonucleases. Structural comparisons and mutagenesis analysis of the motif identified in PA(N) provide further evidence that PA(N) holds an endonuclease active site. Furthermore, functional analysis with in vivo ribonucleoprotein reconstitution and direct in vitro endonuclease assays strongly suggest that PA(N) holds the endonuclease active site and has critical roles in endonuclease activity of the influenza virus polymerase, rather than PB1. The high conservation of this endonuclease active site among influenza strains indicates that PA(N) is an important target for the design of new anti-influenza therapeutics.

  4. Crystal Structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans Apoptosome Reveals an Octameric Assembly of CED-4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qi, S.; Li, H.; Pang, Y.; Hu, Q., Liu, Q., Li, H.; Zhou, Y.; He, T.; Liang, Q.; Liu, Y.; Yuan, X.; Luo, G.; Wang, J.; Yan, N.; Shi, Y.

    2010-04-30

    The CED-4 homo-oligomer or apoptosome is required for initiation of programmed cell death in Caenorhabditis elegans by facilitating autocatalytic activation of the CED-3 caspase zymogen. How the CED-4 apoptosome assembles and activates CED-3 remains enigmatic. Here we report the crystal structure of the complete CED-4 apoptosome and show that it consists of eight CED-4 molecules, organized as a tetramer of an asymmetric dimer via a previously unreported interface among AAA{sup +} ATPases. These eight CED-4 molecules form a funnel-shaped structure. The mature CED-3 protease is monomeric in solution and forms an active holoenzyme with the CED-4 apoptosome, within which the protease activity of CED-3 is markedly stimulated. Unexpectedly, the octameric CED-4 apoptosome appears to bind only two, not eight, molecules of mature CED-3. The structure of the CED-4 apoptosome reveals shared principles for the NB-ARC family of AAA{sup +} ATPases and suggests a mechanism for the activation of CED-3.

  5. In situ structure of trypanosomal ATP synthase dimer reveals a unique arrangement of catalytic subunits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mühleip, Alexander W.; Dewar, Caroline E.; Schnaufer, Achim; Kühlbrandt, Werner; Davies, Karen M.

    2017-01-01

    We used electron cryotomography and subtomogram averaging to determine the in situ structures of mitochondrial ATP synthase dimers from two organisms belonging to the phylum euglenozoa: Trypanosoma brucei, a lethal human parasite, and Euglena gracilis, a photosynthetic protist. At a resolution of 32.5 Å and 27.5 Å, respectively, the two structures clearly exhibit a noncanonical F1 head, in which the catalytic (αβ)3 assembly forms a triangular pyramid rather than the pseudo-sixfold ring arrangement typical of all other ATP synthases investigated so far. Fitting of known X-ray structures reveals that this unusual geometry results from a phylum-specific cleavage of the α subunit, in which the C-terminal αC fragments are displaced by ∼20 Å and rotated by ∼30° from their expected positions. In this location, the αC fragment is unable to form the conserved catalytic interface that was thought to be essential for ATP synthesis, and cannot convert γ-subunit rotation into the conformational changes implicit in rotary catalysis. The new arrangement of catalytic subunits suggests that the mechanism of ATP generation by rotary ATPases is less strictly conserved than has been generally assumed. The ATP synthases of these organisms present a unique model system for discerning the individual contributions of the α and β subunits to the fundamental process of ATP synthesis. PMID:28096380

  6. RNA Ligase Structures Reveal the Basis for RNA Specificity and Conformational Changes that Drive Ligation Forward

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nandakumar,J.; Shuman, S.; Lima, C.

    2006-01-01

    T4 RNA ligase 2 (Rnl2) and kinetoplastid RNA editing ligases exemplify a family of RNA repair enzymes that seal 3'OH/5'PO{sub 4} nicks in duplex RNAs via ligase adenylylation (step 1), AMP transfer to the nick 5'PO{sub 4} (step 2), and attack by the nick 3'OH on the 5'-adenylylated strand to form a phosphodiester (step 3). Crystal structures are reported for Rnl2 at discrete steps along this pathway: the covalent Rnl2-AMP intermediate; Rnl2 bound to an adenylylated nicked duplex, captured immediately following step 2; and Rnl2 at an adenylylated nick in a state poised for step 3. These structures illuminate the stereochemistry of nucleotidyl transfer and reveal how remodeling of active-site contacts and conformational changes propel the ligation reaction forward. Mutational analysis and comparison of nick-bound structures of Rnl2 and human DNA ligase I highlight common and divergent themes of substrate recognition that can explain their specialization for RNA versus DNA repair.

  7. Structure of Streptococcus agalactiae glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase holoenzyme reveals a novel surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayres, Chapelle A; Schormann, Norbert; Senkovich, Olga; Fry, Alexandra; Banerjee, Surajit; Ulett, Glen C; Chattopadhyay, Debasish

    2014-10-01

    Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a conserved cytosolic enzyme, which plays a key role in glycolysis. GAPDH catalyzes the oxidative phosphorylation of D-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate using NAD or NADP as a cofactor. In addition, GAPDH localized on the surface of some bacteria is thought to be involved in macromolecular interactions and bacterial pathogenesis. GAPDH on the surface of group B streptococcus (GBS) enhances bacterial virulence and is a potential vaccine candidate. Here, the crystal structure of GBS GAPDH from Streptococcus agalactiae in complex with NAD is reported at 2.46 Å resolution. Although the overall structure of GBS GAPDH is very similar to those of other GAPDHs, the crystal structure reveals a significant difference in the area spanning residues 294-307, which appears to be more acidic. The amino-acid sequence of this region of GBS GAPDH is also distinct compared with other GAPDHs. This region therefore may be of interest as an immunogen for vaccine development.

  8. Time-Resolved Soft X-ray Diffraction Reveals Transient Structural Distortions of Ternary Liquid Crystals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Mann

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Home-based soft X-ray time-resolved scattering experiments with nanosecond time resolution (10 ns and nanometer spatial resolution were carried out at a table top soft X-ray plasma source (2.2–5.2 nm. The investigated system was the lyotropic liquid crystal C16E7/paraffin/glycerol/formamide/IR 5. Usually, major changes in physical, chemical, and/or optical properties of the sample occur as a result of structural changes and shrinking morphology. Here, these effects occur as a consequence of the energy absorption in the sample upon optical laser excitation in the IR regime. The liquid crystal shows changes in the structural response within few hundred nanoseconds showing a time decay of 182 ns. A decrease of the Bragg peak diffracted intensity of 30% and a coherent macroscopic movement of the Bragg reflection are found as a response to the optical pump. The Bragg reflection movement is established to be isotropic and diffusion controlled (1 μs. Structural processes are analyzed in the Patterson analysis framework of the time-varying diffraction peaks revealing that the inter-lamellar distance increases by 2.7 Å resulting in an elongation of the coherently expanding lamella crystallite. The present studies emphasize the possibility of applying TR-SXRD techniques for studying the mechanical dynamics of nanosystems.

  9. Amyloid plaque structure and cell surface interactions of β-amyloid fibrils revealed by electron tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Shen; Kollmer, Marius; Markx, Daniel; Claus, Stephanie; Walther, Paul; Fändrich, Marcus

    2017-01-01

    The deposition of amyloid fibrils as plaques is a key feature of several neurodegenerative diseases including in particular Alzheimer’s. This disease is characterized, if not provoked, by amyloid aggregates formed from Aβ peptide that deposit inside the brain or are toxic to neuronal cells. We here used scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to determine the fibril network structure and interactions of Aβ fibrils within a cell culture model of Alzheimer’s disease. STEM images taken from the formed Aβ amyloid deposits revealed three main types of fibril network structures, termed amorphous meshwork, fibril bundle and amyloid star. All three were infiltrated by different types of lipid inclusions from small-sized exosome-like structures (50–100 nm diameter) to large-sized extracellular vesicles (up to 300 nm). The fibrils also presented strong interactions with the surrounding cells such that fibril bundles extended into tubular invaginations of the plasma membrane. Amyloid formation in the cell model was previously found to have an intracellular origin and we show here that it functionally destroys the integrity of the intracellular membranes as it leads to lysosomal leakage. These data provide a mechanistic link to explain why intracellular fibril formation is toxic to the cell. PMID:28240273

  10. X-ray structures of the signal recognition particle receptor reveal targeting cycle intermediates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher L Reyes

    Full Text Available The signal recognition particle (SRP and its conjugate receptor (SR mediate cotranslational targeting of a subclass of proteins destined for secretion to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane in eukaryotes or to the plasma membrane in prokaryotes. Conserved active site residues in the GTPase domains of both SRP and SR mediate discrete conformational changes during formation and dissociation of the SRP.SR complex. Here, we describe structures of the prokaryotic SR, FtsY, as an apo protein and in two different complexes with a non-hydrolysable GTP analog (GMPPNP. These structures reveal intermediate conformations of FtsY containing GMPPNP and explain how the conserved active site residues position the nucleotide into a non-catalytic conformation. The basis for the lower specificity of binding of nucleotide in FtsY prior to heterodimerization with the SRP conjugate Ffh is also shown. We propose that these structural changes represent discrete conformational states assumed by FtsY during targeting complex formation and dissociation.

  11. Repeated Structural Imaging Reveals Nonlinear Progression of Experience-Dependent Volume Changes in Human Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenger, Elisabeth; Kühn, Simone; Verrel, Julius; Mårtensson, Johan; Bodammer, Nils Christian; Lindenberger, Ulman; Lövdén, Martin

    2017-05-01

    Evidence for experience-dependent structural brain change in adult humans is accumulating. However, its time course is not well understood, as intervention studies typically consist of only 2 imaging sessions (before vs. after training). We acquired up to 18 structural magnetic resonance images over a 7-week period while 15 right-handed participants practiced left-hand writing and drawing. After 4 weeks, we observed increases in gray matter of both left and right primary motor cortices relative to a control group; 3 weeks later, these differences were no longer reliable. Time-series analyses revealed that gray matter in the primary motor cortices expanded during the first 4 weeks and then partially renormalized, in particular in the right hemisphere, despite continued practice and increasing task proficiency. Similar patterns of expansion followed by partial renormalization are also found in synaptogenesis, cortical map plasticity, and maturation, and may qualify as a general principle of structural plasticity. Research on human brain plasticity needs to encompass more than 2 measurement occasions to capture expansion and potential renormalization processes over time. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. The structure of the TFIIH p34 subunit reveals a von Willebrand factor A like fold.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik R Schmitt

    Full Text Available RNA polymerase II dependent transcription and nucleotide excision repair are mediated by a multifaceted interplay of subunits within the general transcription factor II H (TFIIH. A better understanding of the molecular structure of TFIIH is the key to unravel the mechanism of action of this versatile protein complex within these vital cellular processes. The importance of this complex becomes further evident in the context of severe diseases like xeroderma pigmentosum, Cockayne's syndrome and trichothiodystrophy, that arise from single point mutations in TFIIH subunits. Here we describe the structure of the p34 subunit of the TFIIH complex from the eukaryotic thermophilic fungus Chaetomium thermophilum. The structure revealed that p34 contains a von Willebrand Factor A (vWA like domain, a fold which is generally known to be involved in protein-protein interactions. Within TFIIH p34 strongly interacts with p44, a positive regulator of the helicase XPD. Putative protein-protein interfaces are analyzed and possible binding sites for the p34-p44 interaction suggested.

  13. Structure of a Blm10 Complex Reveals Common Mechanisms for Proteasome Binding and Gate Opening

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sadre-Bazzaz, K.; Robinson, H.; Whitby, F. G.; Formosa, T.; Hill, C. P.

    2010-03-12

    The proteasome is an abundant protease that is critically important for numerous cellular pathways. Proteasomes are activated in vitro by three known classes of proteins/complexes, including Blm10/PA200. Here, we report a 3.4 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of a proteasome-Blm10 complex, which reveals that Blm10 surrounds the proteasome entry pore in the 1.2 MDa complex to form a largely closed dome that is expected to restrict access of potential substrates. This architecture and the observation that Blm10 induces a disordered proteasome gate structure challenge the assumption that Blm10 functions as an activator of proteolysis in vivo. The Blm10 C terminus binds in the same manner as seen for 11S activators and inferred for 19S/PAN activators and indicates a unified model for gate opening. We also demonstrate that Blm10 acts to maintain mitochondrial function. Consistent with the structural data, the C-terminal residues of Blm10 are needed for this activity.

  14. Comparisons of Caenorhabditis Fucosyltransferase Mutants Reveal a Multiplicity of Isomeric N-Glycan Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shi; Jin, Chunsheng; Wilson, Iain B H; Paschinger, Katharina

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies have shown a remarkable degree of plasticity in the N-glycome of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; ablation of glycosylation-relevant genes can result in radically altered N-glycan profiles despite only minor biological phenotypic effects. Up to four fucose residues and five different linkages of fucose are known on the N-glycans of C. elegans. Due to the complexity in the wild type, we established three mutant strains defective in two core fucosyltransferases each (fut-1;fut-6, fut-1;fut-8, and fut-6;fut-8). Enzymatically released N-glycans were subject to HPLC and MALDI-TOF MS/MS, in combination with various treatments, to verify structural details. The N-glycome of the fut-1;fut-6 mutant was the most complex of the three double-mutant strains due to the extension of the core α1,6-fucose as well as the presence of fucose on the bisecting galactose. In contrast, maximally two fucoses were found on N-glycans of the fut-1;fut-8 and fut-6;fut-8 strains. The different locations and capping of fucose meant that up to 13 isomeric structures, many highly galactosylated, were determined for some single masses. These data not only show the high variability of the N-glycomic capacity of a "simple" nematode but also exemplify the need for multiple approaches to reveal individual glycan structures within complex invertebrate glycomes.

  15. Crystal Structure of Homo Sapiens PTD012 Reveals a Zinc-Containing Hydrolase Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manjasetty,B.; Bussow, K.; Fieber-ErdMan, M.; Roske, Y.; Gobam, J.; Scheich, C.; Gotz, F.; Niesen, F.; Heinemann, U.

    2006-01-01

    The human protein PTD012 is the longer product of an alternatively spliced gene and was described to be localized in the nucleus. The X-ray structure analysis at 1.7 Angstroms resolution of PTD012 through SAD phasing reveals a monomeric protein and a novel fold. The shorter splice form was also studied and appears to be unfolded and non-functional. The structure of PTD012 displays an {alpha}{beta}{beta}{alpha} four-layer topology. A metal ion residing between the central {beta}-sheets is partially coordinated by three histidine residues. X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) analysis identifies the PTD012-bound ion as Zn{sup 2+}. Tetrahedral coordination of the ion is completed by the carboxylate oxygen atom of an acetate molecule taken up from the crystallization buffer. The binding of Zn{sup 2+} to PTD012 is reminiscent of zinc-containing enzymes such as carboxypeptidase, carbonic anhydrase, and {beta}-lactamase. Biochemical assays failed to demonstrate any of these enzyme activities in PTD012. However, PTD012 exhibits ester hydrolase activity on the substrate p-nitrophenyl acetate.

  16. Crystal structure of a c-di-AMP riboswitch reveals an internally pseudo-dimeric RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher P; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R

    2014-11-18

    Cyclic diadenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) is a second messenger that is essential for growth and homeostasis in bacteria. A recently discovered c-di-AMP-responsive riboswitch controls the expression of genes in a variety of bacteria, including important pathogens. To elucidate the molecular basis for specific binding of c-di-AMP by a gene-regulatory mRNA domain, we have determined the co-crystal structure of this riboswitch. Unexpectedly, the structure reveals an internally pseudo-symmetric RNA in which two similar three-helix-junction elements associate head-to-tail, creating a trough that cradles two c-di-AMP molecules making quasi-equivalent contacts with the riboswitch. The riboswitch selectively binds c-di-AMP and discriminates exquisitely against other cyclic dinucleotides, such as c-di-GMP and cyclic-AMP-GMP, via interactions with both the backbone and bases of its cognate second messenger. Small-angle X-ray scattering experiments indicate that global folding of the riboswitch is induced by the two bound cyclic dinucleotides, which bridge the two symmetric three-helix domains. This structural reorganization likely couples c-di-AMP binding to gene expression.

  17. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of Tunisians reveals a mosaic genetic structure with recent population expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frigi, S; Mota-Vieira, L; Cherni, L; van Oven, M; Pires, R; Boussetta, S; El-Gaaied, A Ben Ammar

    2017-05-19

    Tunisia is a country of great interest for human population genetics due to its strategic geographic position and rich human settlement history. These factors significantly contributed to the genetic makeup of present-day Tunisians harbouring components of diverse geographic origins. Here, we investigated the genetic structure of Tunisians by performing a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) comparison of 15 Tunisian population groups, in order to explore their complex genetic landscape. All Tunisian data were also analysed against 40 worldwide populations. Statistical results (Tajima's D and Fu's FS tests) suggested recent population expansion for the majority of studied populations, as well as showed (AMOVA test) that all populations were significantly different from each other, which is evidence of population structure even if it is not guided by geographic and ethnic effects. Gene flow analysis revealed the assignment of Tunisians to multiple ancestries, which agrees with their genetic heterogeneity. The resulting picture for the mtDNA pool confirms the evidence of a recent expansion of the Tunisian population and is in accordance with a mosaic structure, composed by North African, Middle Easterner, European and Sub-Saharan lineages, resulting from a complex settlement history. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. Cryo-EM Structures of the Magnesium Channel CorA Reveal Symmetry Break upon Gating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthies, Doreen; Dalmas, Olivier; Borgnia, Mario J; Dominik, Pawel K; Merk, Alan; Rao, Prashant; Reddy, Bharat G; Islam, Shahidul; Bartesaghi, Alberto; Perozo, Eduardo; Subramaniam, Sriram

    2016-02-11

    CorA, the major Mg(2+) uptake system in prokaryotes, is gated by intracellular Mg(2+) (KD ∼ 1-2 mM). X-ray crystallographic studies of CorA show similar conformations under Mg(2+)-bound and Mg(2+)-free conditions, but EPR spectroscopic studies reveal large Mg(2+)-driven quaternary conformational changes. Here, we determined cryo-EM structures of CorA in the Mg(2+)-bound closed conformation and in two open Mg(2+)-free states at resolutions of 3.8, 7.1, and 7.1 Å, respectively. In the absence of bound Mg(2+), four of the five subunits are displaced to variable extents (∼ 10-25 Å) by hinge-like motions as large as ∼ 35° at the stalk helix. The transition between a single 5-fold symmetric closed state and an ensemble of low Mg(2+), open, asymmetric conformational states is, thus, the key structural signature of CorA gating. This mechanism is likely to apply to other structurally similar divalent ion channels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Time-resolved soft X-ray diffraction reveals transient structural distortions of ternary liquid crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quevedo, Wilson; Peth, Christian; Busse, Gerhard; Scholz, Mirko; Mann, Klaus; Techert, Simone

    2009-11-04

    Home-based soft X-ray time-resolved scattering experiments with nanosecond time resolution (10 ns) and nanometer spatial resolution were carried out at a table top soft X-ray plasma source (2.2-5.2 nm). The investigated system was the lyotropic liquid crystal C(16)E(7)/paraffin/glycerol/formamide/IR 5. Usually, major changes in physical, chemical, and/or optical properties of the sample occur as a result of structural changes and shrinking morphology. Here, these effects occur as a consequence of the energy absorption in the sample upon optical laser excitation in the IR regime. The liquid crystal shows changes in the structural response within few hundred nanoseconds showing a time decay of 182 ns. A decrease of the Bragg peak diffracted intensity of 30% and a coherent macroscopic movement of the Bragg reflection are found as a response to the optical pump. The Bragg reflection movement is established to be isotropic and diffusion controlled (1 micros). Structural processes are analyzed in the Patterson analysis framework of the time-varying diffraction peaks revealing that the inter-lamellar distance increases by 2.7 A resulting in an elongation of the coherently expanding lamella crystallite. The present studies emphasize the possibility of applying TR-SXRD techniques for studying the mechanical dynamics of nanosystems.

  20. X-ray CT Scanning Reveals Long-Term Copper Pollution Effects on Functional Soil Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Homstrup, Martin

    Soil structure plays the main role in the ability of the soil to fulfill essential soil functions such as the root growth, rate of water infiltration and retention, transport of gaseous and chemicals/pollutants through the soil. Soil structure is a dynamic soil property and affected by various...... factors such as soil type, land use, and soil contamination. In this study, we quantified the soil structure using X-ray CT scanning and revealed the effect of a long history of Copper (Cu) pollution on it. A fallow field at Hygum Denmark provides this opportunity as it had a long history of Copper...... sulphate contamination in a gradient with Cu content varies from 21 mg kg-1 to 3837 mg kg-1. Total 20 intact soil columns (diameter of 10 cm and height of 8 cm) were sampled at five locations along the Cu-gradient from a depth of 5 to 15 cm below surface level. The soil columns were scanned at a voxel...

  1. Patterned biofilm formation reveals a mechanism for structural heterogeneity in bacterial biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Huan; Hou, Shuyu; Yongyat, Chanokpon; De Tore, Suzanne; Ren, Dacheng

    2013-09-03

    Bacterial biofilms are ubiquitous and are the major cause of chronic infections in humans and persistent biofouling in industry. Despite the significance of bacterial biofilms, the mechanism of biofilm formation and associated drug tolerance is still not fully understood. A major challenge in biofilm research is the intrinsic heterogeneity in the biofilm structure, which leads to temporal and spatial variation in cell density and gene expression. To understand and control such structural heterogeneity, surfaces with patterned functional alkanthiols were used in this study to obtain Escherichia coli cell clusters with systematically varied cluster size and distance between clusters. The results from quantitative imaging analysis revealed an interesting phenomenon in which multicellular connections can be formed between cell clusters depending on the size of interacting clusters and the distance between them. In addition, significant differences in patterned biofilm formation were observed between wild-type E. coli RP437 and some of its isogenic mutants, indicating that certain cellular and genetic factors are involved in interactions among cell clusters. In particular, autoinducer-2-mediated quorum sensing was found to be important. Collectively, these results provide missing information that links cell-to-cell signaling and interaction among cell clusters to the structural organization of bacterial biofilms.

  2. Structure of the Sulphiredoxin-Peroxiredoxin Complex Reveals an Essential Repair Embrace

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jonsson,T.; Johnson, L.; Lowther, W.

    2008-01-01

    Typical 2-Cys peroxiredoxins (Prxs) have an important role in regulating hydrogen peroxide-mediated cell signalling1. In this process, Prxs can become inactivated through the hyperoxidation of an active site Cys residue to Cys sulphinic acid. The unique repair of this moiety by sulphiredoxin (Srx) restores peroxidase activity and terminates the signal2. The hyperoxidized form of Prx exists as a stable decameric structure with each active site buried. Therefore, it is unclear how Srx can access the sulphinic acid moiety. Here we present the 2.6 Angstroms crystal structure of the human Srx-PrxI complex. This complex reveals the complete unfolding of the carboxy terminus of Prx, and its unexpected packing onto the backside of Srx away from the Srx active site. Binding studies and activity analyses of site-directed mutants at this interface show that the interaction is required for repair to occur. Moreover, rearrangements in the Prx active site lead to a juxtaposition of the Prx Gly-Gly-Leu-Gly and Srx ATP-binding motifs, providing a structural basis for the first step of the catalytic mechanism. The results also suggest that the observed interactions may represent a common mode for other proteins to bind to Prxs.

  3. Characterization of 4-HNE modified L-FABP reveals alterations in structural and functional dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca L Smathers

    Full Text Available 4-Hydroxynonenal (4-HNE is a reactive α,β-unsaturated aldehyde produced during oxidative stress and subsequent lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The reactivity of 4-HNE towards DNA and nucleophilic amino acids has been well established. In this report, using proteomic approaches, liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP is identified as a target for modification by 4-HNE. This lipid binding protein mediates the uptake and trafficking of hydrophobic ligands throughout cellular compartments. Ethanol caused a significant decrease in L-FABP protein (P<0.001 and mRNA (P<0.05, as well as increased poly-ubiquitinated L-FABP (P<0.001. Sites of 4-HNE adduction on mouse recombinant L-FABP were mapped using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry on apo (Lys57 and Cys69 and holo (Lys6, Lys31, His43, Lys46, Lys57 and Cys69 L-FABP. The impact of 4-HNE adduction was found to occur in a concentration-dependent manner; affinity for the fluorescent ligand, anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid, was reduced from 0.347 µM to Kd(1 = 0.395 µM and Kd(2 = 34.20 µM. Saturation analyses revealed that capacity for ligand is reduced by approximately 50% when adducted by 4-HNE. Thermal stability curves of apo L-FABP was also found to be significantly affected by 4-HNE adduction (ΔTm = 5.44°C, P<0.01. Computational-based molecular modeling simulations of adducted protein revealed minor conformational changes in global protein structure of apo and holo L-FABP while more apparent differences were observed within the internal binding pocket, revealing reduced area and structural integrity. New solvent accessible portals on the periphery of the protein were observed following 4-HNE modification in both the apo and holo state, suggesting an adaptive response to carbonylation. The results from this study detail the dynamic process associated with L-FABP modification by 4-HNE and provide insight as to how alterations in structural integrity and ligand

  4. Upper crustal structure of Madeira Island revealed from ambient noise tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matos, Catarina; Silveira, Graça; Matias, Luís; Caldeira, Rita; Ribeiro, M. Luísa; Dias, Nuno A.; Krüger, Frank; Bento dos Santos, Telmo

    2015-06-01

    We present the first image of the Madeira upper crustal structure, using ambient seismic noise tomography. 16 months of ambient noise, recorded in a dense network of 26 seismometers deployed across Madeira, allowed reconstructing Rayleigh wave Green's functions between receivers. Dispersion analysis was performed in the short period band from 1.0 to 4.0 s. Group velocity measurements were regionalized to obtain 2D tomographic images, with a lateral resolution of 2.0 km in central Madeira. Afterwards, the dispersion curves, extracted from each cell of the 2D group velocity maps, were inverted as a function of depth to obtain a 3D shear wave velocity model of the upper crust, from the surface to a depth of 2.0 km. The obtained 3D velocity model reveals features throughout the island that correlates well with surface geology and island evolution.

  5. Integration of community structure data reveals observable effects below sediment guideline thresholds in a large estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, Louis A; Clark, Dana; Sinner, Jim; Ellis, Joanne I

    2017-09-20

    The sustainable management of estuarine and coastal ecosystems requires robust frameworks due to the presence of multiple physical and chemical stressors. In this study, we assessed whether ecological health decline, based on community structure composition changes along a pollution gradient, occurred at levels below guideline threshold values for copper, zinc and lead. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) was used to characterise benthic communities along a metal contamination gradient. The analysis revealed changes in benthic community distribution at levels below the individual guideline values for the three metals. These results suggest that field-based measures of ecological health analysed with multivariate tools can provide additional information to single metal guideline threshold values to monitor large systems exposed to multiple stressors.

  6. Live Cell Imaging Reveals Structural Associations between the Actin and Microtubule Cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis [W] [OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampathkumar, Arun; Lindeboom, Jelmer J.; Debolt, Seth; Gutierrez, Ryan; Ehrhardt, David W.; Ketelaar, Tijs; Persson, Staffan

    2011-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletal networks are dynamic structures that organize intracellular processes and facilitate their rapid reorganization. In plant cells, actin filaments (AFs) and MTs are essential for cell growth and morphogenesis. However, dynamic interactions between these two essential components in live cells have not been explored. Here, we use spinning-disc confocal microscopy to dissect interaction and cooperation between cortical AFs and MTs in Arabidopsis thaliana, utilizing fluorescent reporter constructs for both components. Quantitative analyses revealed altered AF dynamics associated with the positions and orientations of cortical MTs. Reorganization and reassembly of the AF array was dependent on the MTs following drug-induced depolymerization, whereby short AFs initially appeared colocalized with MTs, and displayed motility along MTs. We also observed that light-induced reorganization of MTs occurred in concert with changes in AF behavior. Our results indicate dynamic interaction between the cortical actin and MT cytoskeletons in interphase plant cells. PMID:21693695

  7. Combined techniques for characterising pasta structure reveals how the gluten network slows enzymic digestion rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Wei; Sissons, Mike; Gidley, Michael J; Gilbert, Robert G; Warren, Frederick J

    2015-12-01

    The aim of the present study is to characterise the influence of gluten structure on the kinetics of starch hydrolysis in pasta. Spaghetti and powdered pasta were prepared from three different cultivars of durum semolina, and starch was also purified from each cultivar. Digestion kinetic parameters were obtained through logarithm-of-slope analysis, allowing identification of sequential digestion steps. Purified starch and semolina were digested following a single first-order rate constant, while pasta and powdered pasta followed two sequential first-order rate constants. Rate coefficients were altered by pepsin hydrolysis. Confocal microscopy revealed that, following cooking, starch granules were completely swollen for starch, semolina and pasta powder samples. In pasta, they were completely swollen in the external regions, partially swollen in the intermediate region and almost intact in the pasta strand centre. Gluten entrapment accounts for sequential kinetic steps in starch digestion of pasta; the compact microstructure of pasta also reduces digestion rates.

  8. Sequencing and analyses of all known human rhinovirus genomes reveal structure and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmenberg, Ann C; Spiro, David; Kuzmickas, Ryan; Wang, Shiliang; Djikeng, Appolinaire; Rathe, Jennifer A; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M; Liggett, Stephen B

    2009-04-03

    Infection by human rhinovirus (HRV) is a major cause of upper and lower respiratory tract disease worldwide and displays considerable phenotypic variation. We examined diversity by completing the genome sequences for all known serotypes (n = 99). Superimposition of capsid crystal structure and optimal-energy RNA configurations established alignments and phylogeny. These revealed conserved motifs; clade-specific diversity, including a potential newly identified species (HRV-D); mutations in field isolates; and recombination. In analogy with poliovirus, a hypervariable 5' untranslated region tract may affect virulence. A configuration consistent with nonscanning internal ribosome entry was found in all HRVs and may account for rapid translation. The data density from complete sequences of the reference HRVs provided high resolution for this degree of modeling and serves as a platform for full genome-based epidemiologic studies and antiviral or vaccine development.

  9. Dynamics of human telomerase RNA structure revealed by antisense oligonucleotide technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilkova, Daria V; Azhibek, Dulat M; Zatsepin, Timofei S; Naraikina, Yulia V; Prassolov, Vladimir S; Prokofjeva, Maria M; Zvereva, Maria I; Rubtsova, Maria P

    2013-12-01

    Telomeres are the nucleoprotein complexes that cap the linear chromosome ends. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that maintains telomere length in stem, embryonic and cancer cells. Somatic cells don't contain active telomerase and telomere function as mitotic clock and telomere length determines the number of cell divisions. Telomerase RNA (TER) contains the template for telomere synthesis and serves as a structural scaffold for holoenzyme assembly. We compared different oligonucleotide based methods for telomerase RNA inhibition, such as antisense oligonucleotides, knockdown by transient siRNA transfection and silencing by miRNA derived from short expressed RNA hairpin in HEK293 cells. All of these methods were applied to different TER regions. Our results revealed that CR2/CR3 domain of TER is accessible in vitro and in vivo and could serve as an optimal site for oligonucleotide-based telomerase silencing.

  10. The Crystal Structure of Cancer Osaka Thyroid Kinase Reveals an Unexpected Kinase Domain Fold*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutmann, Sascha; Hinniger, Alexandra; Fendrich, Gabriele; Drückes, Peter; Antz, Sylvie; Mattes, Henri; Möbitz, Henrik; Ofner, Silvio; Schmiedeberg, Niko; Stojanovic, Aleksandar; Rieffel, Sebastien; Strauss, André; Troxler, Thomas; Glatthar, Ralf; Sparrer, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    Macrophages are important cellular effectors in innate immune responses and play a major role in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Cancer Osaka thyroid (COT) kinase, also known as mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 8 (MAP3K8) and tumor progression locus 2 (Tpl-2), is a serine-threonine (ST) kinase and is a key regulator in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in macrophages. Due to its pivotal role in immune biology, COT kinase has been identified as an attractive target for pharmaceutical research that is directed at the discovery of orally available, selective, and potent inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune disorders and cancer. The production of monomeric, recombinant COT kinase has proven to be very difficult, and issues with solubility and stability of the enzyme have hampered the discovery and optimization of potent and selective inhibitors. We developed a protocol for the production of recombinant human COT kinase that yields pure and highly active enzyme in sufficient yields for biochemical and structural studies. The quality of the enzyme allowed us to establish a robust in vitro phosphorylation assay for the efficient biochemical characterization of COT kinase inhibitors and to determine the x-ray co-crystal structures of the COT kinase domain in complex with two ATP-binding site inhibitors. The structures presented in this study reveal two distinct ligand binding modes and a unique kinase domain architecture that has not been observed previously. The structurally versatile active site significantly impacts the design of potent, low molecular weight COT kinase inhibitors. PMID:25918157

  11. Genetic diversity of coastal bottlenose dolphins revealed by structurally and functionally diverse hemoglobins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Nicole; Stevens, Robert D; Wells, Randall S; Holn, Aleta; Dhungana, Suraj; Taboy, Celine H; Crumbliss, Alvin L; Henkens, Robert; Bonaventura, Celia

    2007-08-15

    Studies of structure-function relationships in the respiratory proteins of marine mammals revealed unexpected variations in the number and types of hemoglobins (Hbs) present in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. We obtained blood samples from free-ranging coastal bottlenose dolphins as a component of capture-release studies. We found that the oxygen-binding functions of bottlenose dolphin blood are poised between effector-saturated and unsaturated levels, enabling exercise-dependent shifts in oxygen transfer functions. Isolated bottlenose dolphin Hbs showed elevated pH sensitivities (Bohr effects) and appreciably lower oxygen affinities than adult human Hb in the absence of allosteric effectors. These properties may be an adaptive modification that enhances oxygen delivery during diving episodes when oxygen tensions and effector levels are low. The Hbs of individual dolphins showed similar oxygen affinities, responses to effectors, and expression of heme-heme interaction in oxygen binding, but differed in their redox potentials and rates of autoxidation. The heterogeneity suggested by these functional variations in Hbs of individual dolphins was born out by variations in the molecular weights and numbers of their alpha and beta globin chains. Although coastal bottlenose dolphins were expected to have a single type of Hb, the mass differences observed revealed considerable genetic diversity. There were multiple Hb forms in some individuals and differences in Hb patterns among individuals within the same community.

  12. Revealing pathologies in the liquid crystalline structures of the brain by polarimetric studies (Presentation Recording)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhshetyan, Karen; Melkonyan, Gurgen G.; Galstian, Tigran V.; Saghatelyan, Armen

    2015-10-01

    Natural or "self" alignment of molecular complexes in living tissue represents many similarities with liquid crystals (LC), which are anisotropic liquids. The orientational characteristics of those complexes may be related to many important functional parameters and their study may reveal important pathologies. The know-how, accumulated thanks to the study of LC materials, may thus be used to this end. One of the traditionally used methods, to characterize those materials, is the polarized light imaging (PLI) that allows for label-free analysis of anisotropic structures in the brain tissue and can be used, for example, for the analysis of myelinated fiber bundles. In the current work, we first attempted to apply the PLI on the mouse histological brain sections to create a map of anisotropic structures using cross-polarizer transmission light. Then we implemented the PLI for comparative study of histological sections of human postmortem brain samples under normal and pathological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Imaging the coronal, sagittal and horizontal sections of mouse brain allowed us to create a false color-coded fiber orientation map under polarized light. In human brain datasets for both control and PD groups we measured the pixel intensities in myelin-rich subregions of internal capsule and normalized these to non-myelinated background signal from putamen and caudate nucleus. Quantification of intensities revealed a statistically significant reduction of fiber intensity of PD compared to control subjects (2.801 +/- 0.303 and 3.724 +/- 0.07 respectively; *p < 0.05). Our study confirms the validity of PLI method for visualizing myelinated axonal fibers. This relatively simple technique can become a promising tool for study of neurodegenerative diseases where labeling-free imaging is an important benefit.

  13. Diversity of eukaryotic DNA replication origins revealed by genome-wide analysis of chromatin structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas M Berbenetz

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Eukaryotic DNA replication origins differ both in their efficiency and in the characteristic time during S phase when they become active. The biological basis for these differences remains unknown, but they could be a consequence of chromatin structure. The availability of genome-wide maps of nucleosome positions has led to an explosion of information about how nucleosomes are assembled at transcription start sites, but no similar maps exist for DNA replication origins. Here we combine high-resolution genome-wide nucleosome maps with comprehensive annotations of DNA replication origins to identify patterns of nucleosome occupancy at eukaryotic replication origins. On average, replication origins contain a nucleosome depleted region centered next to the ACS element, flanked on both sides by arrays of well-positioned nucleosomes. Our analysis identified DNA sequence properties that correlate with nucleosome occupancy at replication origins genome-wide and that are correlated with the nucleosome-depleted region. Clustering analysis of all annotated replication origins revealed a surprising diversity of nucleosome occupancy patterns. We provide evidence that the origin recognition complex, which binds to the origin, acts as a barrier element to position and phase nucleosomes on both sides of the origin. Finally, analysis of chromatin reconstituted in vitro reveals that origins are inherently nucleosome depleted. Together our data provide a comprehensive, genome-wide view of chromatin structure at replication origins and suggest a model of nucleosome positioning at replication origins in which the underlying sequence occludes nucleosomes to permit binding of the origin recognition complex, which then (likely in concert with nucleosome modifiers and remodelers positions nucleosomes adjacent to the origin to promote replication origin function.

  14. Characterization of 4-HNE modified L-FABP reveals alterations in structural and functional dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smathers, Rebecca L; Fritz, Kristofer S; Galligan, James J; Shearn, Colin T; Reigan, Philip; Marks, Michael J; Petersen, Dennis R

    2012-01-01

    4-Hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) is a reactive α,β-unsaturated aldehyde produced during oxidative stress and subsequent lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The reactivity of 4-HNE towards DNA and nucleophilic amino acids has been well established. In this report, using proteomic approaches, liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) is identified as a target for modification by 4-HNE. This lipid binding protein mediates the uptake and trafficking of hydrophobic ligands throughout cellular compartments. Ethanol caused a significant decrease in L-FABP protein (PL-FABP (PL-FABP were mapped using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry on apo (Lys57 and Cys69) and holo (Lys6, Lys31, His43, Lys46, Lys57 and Cys69) L-FABP. The impact of 4-HNE adduction was found to occur in a concentration-dependent manner; affinity for the fluorescent ligand, anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid, was reduced from 0.347 µM to Kd(1) = 0.395 µM and Kd(2) = 34.20 µM. Saturation analyses revealed that capacity for ligand is reduced by approximately 50% when adducted by 4-HNE. Thermal stability curves of apo L-FABP was also found to be significantly affected by 4-HNE adduction (ΔTm = 5.44°C, PL-FABP while more apparent differences were observed within the internal binding pocket, revealing reduced area and structural integrity. New solvent accessible portals on the periphery of the protein were observed following 4-HNE modification in both the apo and holo state, suggesting an adaptive response to carbonylation. The results from this study detail the dynamic process associated with L-FABP modification by 4-HNE and provide insight as to how alterations in structural integrity and ligand binding may a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of ALD.

  15. Genetic diversity and population structure of endangered Aquilaria malaccensis revealed potential for future conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Pradeep; Nag, Akshay; Parmar, Rajni; Ghosh, Sneha; Bhau, Brijmohan Singh; Sharma, Ram Kumar

    2015-12-01

    The endangered Aquilaria malaccensis,is an important plant with high economic values. Characterization of genetic diversity and population structure is receiving tremendous attention for effective conservation of genetic resources. Considering important repositories of biological diversity, the genetic relationships of 127 A. malaccensis accessions from 10 home gardens of three states of northeast India were assessed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Of the 1153 fragments amplified with four AFLP primer combinations, 916 (79.4%) were found to be polymorphic. Polymorphic information content (PIC) and marker index (MI) of each primer combination correlate significantly with the number of genotypes resolved. Overall, a high genetic diversity (avg. 71.85%) was recorded. Further, high gene flow (Nm: 3.37), low genetic differentiation (FST: 0.069) and high within population genetic variation (93%) suggests that most of the genetic diversity is restricted within population. Neighbour joining (NJ), principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and Bayesian-based STRUCTURE grouped all the accessions in two clusters with significant intermixing between populations, therefore, revealed that two genetically distinct gene pools are operating in the A. malaccensis populations cultivated in home gardens. Based on the various diversity inferences, five diverse populations (JOH, FN, HLF, DHM and ITN) were identified, which can be potentially exploited to develop conservation strategies for A. malaccensis.

  16. Histone-DNA contacts in structure/function relationships of nucleosomes as revealed by crosslinking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Usachenko, S.I. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Bradbury, E.M. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Life Science Div.]|[Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1998-12-31

    The magnitude of the problem of understanding the structure/function relationships of eukaryotic chromosomes can be appreciated from the fact that the human diploid genome contains more than 2 meters of DNA packaged into 46 chromosomes, each at metaphase being several microns in length. Each chromatid of a chromosome contains a single DNA molecule several centimeters in length. In addition to the DNA, chromosomes contain an equal weight of histones and an equal weight of non-histone chromosomal proteins. These histones are the major chromosomal structural proteins. The non-histone chromosomal proteins are involved in the DNA processes of transcription and replication, in chromosome organization and in nuclear architecture. Polytene chromosomes with their bands and interbands and puffs of active genetic loci provide visual evidence for long range order as do the bands and interbands of mammalian metaphase chromosomes. The gentle removal of histones and all but the most tightly bound 2--3% of non-histone proteins from metaphase chromosomes revealed by electron microscopy a residual protein scaffold constraining a halo of DNA loops extending out from the scaffold.

  17. Genetic diversity and population structure of endangered Aquilaria malaccensis revealed potential for future conservation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Pradeep Singh; Akshay Nag; Rajni Parmar; Sneha Ghosh; Brijmohan Singh Bhau; Ram Kumar Sharma

    2015-12-01

    The endangered Aquilaria malaccensis, is an important plant with high economic values. Characterization of genetic diversity and population structure is receiving tremendous attention for effective conservation of genetic resources. Considering important repositories of biological diversity, the genetic relationships of 127 A. malaccensis accessions from 10 home gardens of three states of northeast India were assessed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Of the 1153 fragments amplified with four AFLP primer combinations, 916 (79.4%) were found to be polymorphic. Polymorphic information content (PIC) and marker index (MI) of each primer combination correlate significantly with the number of genotypes resolved. Overall, a high genetic diversity (avg. 71.85%) was recorded. Further, high gene flow (m : 3.37), low genetic differentiation (ST : 0.069) and high within population genetic variation (93%) suggests that most of the genetic diversity is restricted within population. Neighbour joining (NJ), principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and Bayesian-based STRUCTURE grouped all the accessions in two clusters with significant intermixing between populations, therefore, revealed that two genetically distinct gene pools are operating in the A. malaccensis populations cultivated in home gardens. Based on the various diversity inferences, five diverse populations (JOH, FN, HLF, DHM and ITN) were identified, which can be potentially exploited to develop conservation strategies for A. malaccensis.

  18. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi communities from tropical Africa reveal strong ecological structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana; Teixeira, Helena; Correia, Marta; Timóteo, Sérgio; Heleno, Ruben; Öpik, Maarja; Moora, Mari

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the distribution and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and the rules that govern AMF assemblages has been hampered by a lack of data from natural ecosystems. In addition, the current knowledge on AMF diversity is biased towards temperate ecosystems, whereas little is known about other habitats such as dry tropical ecosystems. We explored the diversity and structure of AMF communities in grasslands, savannas, dry forests and miombo in a protected area under dry tropical climate (Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique) using 454 pyrosequencing. In total, 147 AMF virtual taxa (VT) were detected, including 22 VT new to science. We found a high turnover of AMF with ˂ 12% of VT present in all vegetation types. Forested areas supported more diverse AMF communities than savannas and grassland. Miombo woodlands had the highest AMF richness, number of novel VT, and number of exclusive and indicator taxa. Our data reveal a sharp differentiation of AMF communities between forested areas and periodically flooded savannas and grasslands. This marked ecological structure of AMF communities provides the first comprehensive landscape-scale evidence that, at the background of globally low endemism of AMF, local communities are shaped by regional processes including environmental filtering by edaphic properties and natural disturbance.

  19. Structural characterization of CAS SH3 domain selectivity and regulation reveals new CAS interaction partners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemperle, Jakub; Hexnerová, Rozálie; Lepšík, Martin; Tesina, Petr; Dibus, Michal; Novotný, Marian; Brábek, Jan; Veverka, Václav; Rosel, Daniel

    2017-08-14

    CAS is a docking protein downstream of the proto-oncogene Src with a role in invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. The CAS SH3 domain is indispensable for CAS-mediated signaling, but structural aspects of CAS SH3 ligand binding and regulation are not well understood. Here, we identified the consensus CAS SH3 binding motif and structurally characterized the CAS SH3 domain in complex with ligand. We revealed the requirement for an uncommon centrally localized lysine residue at position +2 of CAS SH3 ligands and two rather dissimilar optional anchoring residues, leucine and arginine, at position +5. We further expanded the knowledge of CAS SH3 ligand binding regulation by manipulating tyrosine 12 phosphorylation and confirmed the negative role of this phosphorylation on CAS SH3 ligand binding. Finally, by exploiting the newly identified binding requirements of the CAS SH3 domain, we predicted and experimentally verified two novel CAS SH3 binding partners, DOK7 and GLIS2.

  20. Structure-function characterization reveals new catalytic diversity in the galactose oxidase and glyoxal oxidase family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, DeLu Tyler; Urresti, Saioa; Lafond, Mickael; Johnston, Esther M; Derikvand, Fatemeh; Ciano, Luisa; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Henrissat, Bernard; Walton, Paul H; Davies, Gideon J; Brumer, Harry

    2015-12-18

    Alcohol oxidases, including carbohydrate oxidases, have a long history of research that has generated fundamental biological understanding and biotechnological applications. Despite a long history of study, the galactose 6-oxidase/glyoxal oxidase family of mononuclear copper-radical oxidases, Auxiliary Activity Family 5 (AA5), is currently represented by only very few characterized members. Here we report the recombinant production and detailed structure-function analyses of two homologues from the phytopathogenic fungi Colletotrichum graminicola and C. gloeosporioides, CgrAlcOx and CglAlcOx, respectively, to explore the wider biocatalytic potential in AA5. EPR spectroscopy and crystallographic analysis confirm a common active-site structure vis-à-vis the archetypal galactose 6-oxidase from Fusarium graminearum. Strikingly, however, CgrAlcOx and CglAlcOx are essentially incapable of oxidizing galactose and galactosides, but instead efficiently catalyse the oxidation of diverse aliphatic alcohols. The results highlight the significant potential of prospecting the evolutionary diversity of AA5 to reveal novel enzyme specificities, thereby informing both biology and applications.

  1. A thermodynamic treatment of partially saturated soils revealing the structure of effective stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yimin; Einav, Itai; Liu, Mario

    2017-03-01

    A rigorous thermodynamic treatment of partially saturated soils is developed using a minimal number of assumptions. The derivation is carried out in a way that does not require to explicitly track the complex shapes of interfaces between the solid, fluid and gas domains. Instead, suction is the property being recovered explicitly through the minimisation of energy around an ideal 'suctionless limit', while considering the different compressibilities of the three domains. In interpreting experimental data the derivation ensures the thermodynamic equilibrium between the chemical potentials of the soil and measurement cells, while carefully distinguishing intrinsic from measured pressures and suctions. A most general expression for the effective stress of partially saturated soils is then derived that is strictly linked to the soil-water retention curve (SWRC). The structure of the effective stress broadly depends on the three thermodynamic densities characterising the solid, liquid and gas domains. Special cases of SWRC are explored, which reveals conditions for which the structure of the effective stress may agree with previously proposed empirical relationships.

  2. Crystal structures of cyclohexanone monooxygenase reveal complex domain movements and a sliding cofactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirza, I Ahmad; Yachnin, Brahm J; Wang, Shaozhao; Grosse, Stephan; Bergeron, Hélène; Imura, Akihiro; Iwaki, Hiroaki; Hasegawa, Yoshie; Lau, Peter C K; Berghuis, Albert M

    2009-07-01

    Cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) is a flavoprotein that carries out the archetypical Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of a variety of cyclic ketones into lactones. Using NADPH and O(2) as cosubstrates, the enzyme inserts one atom of oxygen into the substrate in a complex catalytic mechanism that involves the formation of a flavin-peroxide and Criegee intermediate. We present here the atomic structures of CHMO from an environmental Rhodococcus strain bound with FAD and NADP(+) in two distinct states, to resolutions of 2.3 and 2.2 A. The two conformations reveal domain shifts around multiple linkers and loop movements, involving conserved arginine 329 and tryptophan 492, which effect a translation of the nicotinamide resulting in a sliding cofactor. Consequently, the cofactor is ideally situated and subsequently repositioned during the catalytic cycle to first reduce the flavin and later stabilize formation of the Criegee intermediate. Concurrent movements of a loop adjacent to the active site demonstrate how this protein can effect large changes in the size and shape of the substrate binding pocket to accommodate a diverse range of substrates. Finally, the previously identified BVMO signature sequence is highlighted for its role in coordinating domain movements. Taken together, these structures provide mechanistic insights into CHMO-catalyzed Baeyer-Villiger oxidation.

  3. Genetic diversity and structure of natural fragmented Chamaecyparis obtusa populations as revealed by microsatellite markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Asako; Uchida, Kohji; Taguchi, Yuriko; Tani, Naoki; Tsumura, Yoshihiko

    2010-09-01

    The genetic diversity and population structure of hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) in Japan were investigated by examining the distribution of alleles at 13 microsatellite loci in 25 natural populations from Iwaki in northern Japan to Yakushima Island in southern Japan. On average, 26.9 alleles per locus were identified across all populations and 4.0% of the genetic variation was retained among populations (G(ST) = 0.040). According to linkage disequilibrium analysis, estimates of effective population size and detected evidence of bottleneck events, the genetic diversity of some populations may have declined as a result of fragmentation and/or over-exploitation. The central populations located in the Chubu district appear to have relatively large effective population sizes, while marginal populations, such as the Yakushima, Kobayashi and Iwaki populations, have smaller effective population sizes and are isolated from the other populations. Microsatellite analysis revealed the genetic uniqueness of the Yakushima population. Although genetic differentiation between populations was low, we detected a gradual cline in the genetic structure and found that locus Cos2619 may be non-neutral with respect to natural selection.

  4. Structural evolution beneath Sakurajima Volcano, Japan, revealed through rounds of controlled seismic experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, Tomoki; Iguchi, Masato; Tameguri, Takeshi; Nakamichi, Haruhisa

    2016-04-01

    Structural evolution beneath an active volcano is detected as the variation of seismic reflectivity through controlled seismic experiments, which is interpreted as being associated with discharging magma. The target of the present study is Sakurajima Volcano, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan. Six rounds of seismic experiments with controlled sources have been conducted annually at the volcano. Two seismic reflection profiles are obtained from the datasets for each successful round of experiments. The experiments reveal clear annual variation in seismic reflectivity at a depth of 6.2 km in the northeastern part of Sakurajima. The reflectivity is maximum in December 2009 upon the first intrusion of magma and decreases gradually until December 2013, which coincides with the inflation and deflation cycle of Sakurajima Volcano. Reflectivity variation occurred in the embedded clear reflector at depth. An evolving sandwiched structure in the intermediate layer is used as the reflector model. Lower-velocity magma embedded in the intermediate layer and its succeeding velocity increment explain the variation range of reflectivity. This is interpreted as a temperature decrease associated with discharging magma at depth. The present study describes a new approach for instantaneously sensing magma properties and for monitoring active volcanoes.

  5. Noninvasive two-photon imaging reveals retinyl ester storage structures in the eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imanishi, Yoshikazu; Batten, Matthew L; Piston, David W; Baehr, Wolfgang; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2004-02-01

    Visual sensation in vertebrates is triggered when light strikes retinal photoreceptor cells causing photoisomerization of the rhodopsin chromophore 11-cis-retinal to all-trans-retinal. The regeneration of preillumination conditions of the photoreceptor cells requires formation of 11-cis-retinal in the adjacent retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Using the intrinsic fluorescence of all-trans-retinyl esters, noninvasive two-photon microscopy revealed previously uncharacterized structures (6.9 +/- 1.1 microm in length and 0.8 +/- 0.2 microm in diameter) distinct from other cellular organelles, termed the retinyl ester storage particles (RESTs), or retinosomes. These structures form autonomous all-trans-retinyl ester-rich intracellular compartments distinct from other organelles and colocalize with adipose differentiation-related protein. As demonstrated by in vivo experiments using wild-type mice, the RESTs participate in 11-cis-retinal formation. RESTs accumulate in Rpe65-/- mice incapable of carrying out the enzymatic isomerization, and correspondingly, are absent in the eyes of Lrat-/- mice deficient in retinyl ester synthesis. These results indicate that RESTs located close to the RPE plasma membrane are essential components in 11-cis-retinal production.

  6. Genetic structure along an elevational gradient in Hawaiian honeycreepers reveals contrasting evolutionary responses to avian malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hart Patrick J

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae are one of the best-known examples of an adaptive radiation, but their persistence today is threatened by the introduction of exotic pathogens and their vector, the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Historically, species such as the amakihi (Hemignathus virens, the apapane (Himatione sanguinea, and the iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea were found from the coastal lowlands to the high elevation forests, but by the late 1800's they had become extremely rare in habitats below 900 m. Recently, however, populations of amakihi and apapane have been observed in low elevation habitats. We used twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate patterns of genetic structure, and to infer responses of these species to introduced avian malaria along an elevational gradient on the eastern flanks of Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. Results Our results indicate that amakihi have genetically distinct, spatially structured populations that correspond with altitude. We detected very few apapane and no iiwi in low-elevation habitats, and genetic results reveal only minimal differentiation between populations at different altitudes in either of these species. Conclusion Our results suggest that amakihi populations in low elevation habitats have not been recolonized by individuals from mid or high elevation refuges. After generations of strong selection for pathogen resistance, these populations have rebounded and amakihi have become common in regions in which they were previously rare or absent.

  7. Structure of the archaeal pab87 peptidase reveals a novel self-compartmentalizing protease family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Delfosse

    Full Text Available Self-compartmentalizing proteases orchestrate protein turnover through an original architecture characterized by a central catalytic chamber. Here we report the first structure of an archaeal member of a new self-compartmentalizing protease family forming a cubic-shaped octamer with D(4 symmetry and referred to as CubicO. We solved the structure of the Pyrococcus abyssi Pab87 protein at 2.2 A resolution using the anomalous signal of the high-phasing-power lanthanide derivative Lu-HPDO3A. A 20 A wide channel runs through this supramolecular assembly of 0.4 MDa, giving access to a 60 A wide central chamber holding the eight active sites. Surprisingly, activity assays revealed that Pab87 degrades specifically d-amino acid containing peptides, which have never been observed in archaea. Genomic context of the Pab87 gene showed that it is surrounded by genes involved in the amino acid/peptide transport or metabolism. We propose that CubicO proteases are involved in the processing of d-peptides from environmental origins.

  8. Genetic structure along an elevational gradient in Hawaiian honeycreepers reveals contrasting evolutionary responses to avian malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, L.S.; Terwilliger, L.A.; Woodworth, B.L.; Hart, P.J.; Palmer, D.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2008-01-01

    Background. The Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) are one of the best-known examples of an adaptive radiation, but their persistence today is threatened by the introduction of exotic pathogens and their vector, the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Historically, species such as the amakihi (Hemignathus virens), the apapane (Himatione sanguinea), and the iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea) were found from the coastal lowlands to the high elevation forests, but by the late 1800's they had become extremely rare in habitats below 900 m. Recently, however, populations of amakihi and apapane have been observed in low elevation habitats. We used twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate patterns of genetic structure, and to infer responses of these species to introduced avian malaria along an elevational gradient on the eastern flanks of Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. Results. Our results indicate that amakihi have genetically distinct, spatially structured populations that correspond with altitude. We detected very few apapane and no iiwi in low-elevation habitats, and genetic results reveal only minimal differentiation between populations at different altitudes in either of these species. Conclusion. Our results suggest that amakihi populations in low elevation habitats have not been recolonized by individuals from mid or high elevation refuges. After generations of strong selection for pathogen resistance, these populations have rebounded and amakihi have become common in regions in which they were previously rare or absent. ?? 2008 Eggert et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  9. Glycan structure of Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor as revealed by mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Chad R; Rehder, Douglas S

    2016-09-15

    Disagreement exists regarding the O-glycan structure attached to human vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Previously reported evidence indicated that the O-glycan of the Gc1S allele product is the linear core 1 NeuNAc-Gal-GalNAc-Thr trisaccharide. Here, glycan structural evidence is provided from glycan linkage analysis and over 30 serial glycosidase-digestion experiments which were followed by analysis of the intact protein by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results demonstrate that the O-glycan from the Gc1F protein is the same linear trisaccharide found on the Gc1S protein and that the hexose residue is galactose. In addition, the putative anti-cancer derivative of DBP known as Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF, which is formed by the combined action of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase upon DBP) was analyzed intact by ESI-MS, revealing that the activating E. coli β-galactosidase cleaves nothing from the protein-leaving the glycan structure of active GcMAF as a Gal-GalNAc-Thr disaccharide, regardless of the order in which β-galactosidase and neuraminidase are applied. Moreover, glycosidase digestion results show that α-N-Acetylgalactosamindase (nagalase) lacks endoglycosidic function and only cleaves the DBP O-glycan once it has been trimmed down to a GalNAc-Thr monosaccharide-precluding the possibility of this enzyme removing the O-glycan trisaccharide from cancer-patient DBP in vivo.

  10. Structural Characterization of Maize SIRK1 Kinase Domain Reveals an Unusual Architecture of the Activation Segment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Aquino

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Kinases are primary regulators of plant metabolism and excellent targets for plant breeding. However, most kinases, including the abundant receptor-like kinases (RLK, have no assigned role. SIRK1 is a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK, the largest family of RLK. In Arabidopsis thaliana, SIRK1 (AtSIRK1 is phosphorylated after sucrose is resupplied to sucrose-starved seedlings and it modulates the sugar response by phosphorylating several substrates. In maize, the ZmSIRK1 expression is altered in response to drought stress. In neither Arabidopsis nor in maize has the function of SIRK1 been completely elucidated. As a first step toward the biochemical characterization of ZmSIRK1, we obtained its recombinant kinase domain, demonstrated that it binds AMP-PNP, a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, and solved the structure of ZmSIRK1- AMP-PNP co-crystal. The ZmSIRK1 crystal structure revealed a unique conformation for the activation segment. In an attempt to find inhibitors for ZmSIRK1, we screened a focused small molecule library and identified six compounds that stabilized ZmSIRK1 against thermal melt. ITC analysis confirmed that three of these compounds bound to ZmSIRK1 with low micromolar affinity. Solving the 3D structure of ZmSIRK1-AMP-PNP co-crystal provided information on the molecular mechanism of ZmSIRK1 activity. Furthermore, the identification of small molecules that bind this kinase can serve as initial backbone for development of new potent and selective ZmSIRK1 antagonists.

  11. Population Structure of UK Biobank and Ancient Eurasians Reveals Adaptation at Genes Influencing Blood Pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galinsky, Kevin J; Loh, Po-Ru; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick J; Price, Alkes L

    2016-11-03

    Analyzing genetic differences between closely related populations can be a powerful way to detect recent adaptation. The very large sample size of the UK Biobank is ideal for using population differentiation to detect selection and enables an analysis of the UK population structure at fine resolution. In this study, analyses of 113,851 UK Biobank samples showed that population structure in the UK is dominated by five principal components (PCs) spanning six clusters: Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England, southern England, and two Welsh clusters. Analyses of ancient Eurasians revealed that populations in the northern UK have higher levels of Steppe ancestry and that UK population structure cannot be explained as a simple mixture of Celts and Saxons. A scan for unusual population differentiation along the top PCs identified a genome-wide-significant signal of selection at the coding variant rs601338 in FUT2 (p = 9.16 × 10(-9)). In addition, by combining evidence of unusual differentiation within the UK with evidence from ancient Eurasians, we identified genome-wide-significant (p = 5 × 10(-8)) signals of recent selection at two additional loci: CYP1A2-CSK and F12. We detected strong associations between diastolic blood pressure in the UK Biobank and both the variants with selection signals at CYP1A2-CSK (p = 1.10 × 10(-19)) and the variants with ancient Eurasian selection signals at the ATXN2-SH2B3 locus (p = 8.00 × 10(-33)), implicating recent adaptation related to blood pressure.

  12. Upper mantle structure of the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates revealed by seafloor seismic array observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isse, Takehi; Shiobara, Hajime; Suetsugu, Daisuke; Sugioka, Hiroko; Ito, Aki

    2016-04-01

    Seismic tomography studies have revealed the structure and dynamics of Earth's interior since the 1980s. However, the spatial resolution of the oceanic region is not good enough caused by sparse distribution of the seismic stations. The observations with broadband ocean-bottom seismographs (BBOBSs) since the 2000s enabled us to obtain seismic tomography models with higher spatial resolution. Our Japanese BBOBS group deployed more than 100 BBOBSs in the Pacific Ocean and obtained a high-resolution (300-500 km) three-dimensional shear wave velocity structure in the upper mantle beneath northwestern and south Pacific Ocean by using surface wave tomography technique. In the northwestern Pacific Ocean, where the Pacific plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea plate, we found that the shear wave structure in the Philippine sea plate is well correlated with the seafloor age in the upper 120 km, three separate slow anomalies in the mantle wedge at depth shallower than 100 km beneath the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc, which have a close relationship with the three groups of frontal and rear arc volcanoes having distinct Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope ratios, and that the Philippine Sea plate, which is a single plate, shows very large lateral variations in azimuthal and radial anisotropies compared with the Pacific plate. In the South Pacific Ocean, where midplate hotspots are concentrated, we found that the localized slow anomalies are found near hotspots in the upper mantle, estimated thickness of the lithosphere is about 90 km in average and is thinned by ~20 km in the vicinity of hotspots, which may represent thermal erosion due to mantle plumes.

  13. Structural analysis of coxsackievirus A7 reveals conformational changes associated with uncoating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitsonen, Jani J T; Shakeel, Shabih; Susi, Petri; Pandurangan, Arun P; Sinkovits, Robert S; Hyvönen, Heini; Laurinmäki, Pasi; Ylä-Pelto, Jani; Topf, Maya; Hyypiä, Timo; Butcher, Sarah J

    2012-07-01

    Coxsackievirus A7 (CAV7) is a rarely detected and poorly characterized serotype of the Enterovirus species Human enterovirus A (HEV-A) within the Picornaviridae family. The CAV7-USSR strain has caused polio-like epidemics and was originally thought to represent the fourth poliovirus type, but later evidence linked this strain to the CAV7-Parker prototype. Another isolate, CAV7-275/58, was also serologically similar to Parker but was noninfectious in a mouse model. Sequencing of the genomic region encoding the capsid proteins of the USSR and 275/58 strains and subsequent comparison with the corresponding amino acid sequences of the Parker strain revealed that the Parker and USSR strains are nearly identical, while the 275/58 strain is more distant. Using electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, the structures of the CAV7-USSR virion and empty capsid were resolved to 8.2-Å and 6.1-Å resolutions, respectively. This is one of the first detailed structural analyses of the HEV-A species. Using homology modeling, reconstruction segmentation, and flexible fitting, we constructed a pseudoatomic T = 1 (pseudo T = 3) model incorporating the three major capsid proteins (VP1 to VP3), addressed the conformational changes of the capsid and its constituent viral proteins occurring during RNA release, and mapped the capsid proteins' variable regions to the structure. During uncoating, VP4 and RNA are released analogously to poliovirus 1, the interfaces of VP2 and VP3 are rearranged, and VP1 rotates. Variable regions in the capsid proteins were predicted to map mainly to the surface of VP1 and are thus likely to affect the tropism and pathogenicity of CAV7.

  14. Ringed Structures of the HD 163296 Protoplanetary Disk Revealed by ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isella, Andrea; Guidi, Greta; Testi, Leonardo; Liu, Shangfei; Li, Hui; Li, Shengtai; Weaver, Erik; Boehler, Yann; Carperter, John M.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, Itziar; Manara, Carlo F.; Natta, Antonella; Pérez, Laura M.; Ricci, Luca; Sargent, Anneila; Tazzari, Marco; Turner, Neal

    2016-12-01

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter and Submillimeter Array observations of the protoplanetary disk around the Herbig Ae star HD 163296 that trace the spatial distribution of millimeter-sized particles and cold molecular gas on spatial scales as small as 25 astronomical units (A.U.). The image of the disk recorded in the 1.3 mm continuum emission reveals three dark concentric rings that indicate the presence of dust depleted gaps at about 60, 100, and 160 A.U. from the central star. The maps of the 12CO, 13CO, and C 18O J =2 -1 emission do not show such structures but reveal a change in the slope of the radial intensity profile across the positions of the dark rings in the continuum image. By comparing the observations with theoretical models for the disk emission, we find that the density of CO molecules is reduced inside the middle and outer dust gaps. However, in the inner ring there is no evidence of CO depletion. From the measurements of the dust and gas densities, we deduce that the gas-to-dust ratio varies across the disk and, in particular, it increases by at least a factor 5 within the inner dust gap compared to adjacent regions of the disk. The depletion of both dust and gas suggests that the middle and outer rings could be due to the gravitational torque exerted by two Saturn-mass planets orbiting at 100 and 160 A.U. from the star. On the other hand, the inner dust gap could result from dust accumulation at the edge of a magnetorotational instability dead zone, or from dust opacity variations at the edge of the CO frost line. Observations of the dust emission at higher angular resolution and of molecules that probe dense gas are required to establish more precisely the origins of the dark rings observed in the HD 163296 disk.

  15. Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus Mitochondrial Population Genomics Reveals Structure, Divergence, and Evidence for Heteroplasmy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvette A Halley

    Full Text Available Herein, we evaluated the concordance of population inferences and conclusions resulting from the analysis of short mitochondrial fragments (i.e., partial or complete D-Loop nucleotide sequences versus complete mitogenome sequences for 53 bobwhites representing six ecoregions across TX and OK (USA. Median joining (MJ haplotype networks demonstrated that analyses performed using small mitochondrial fragments were insufficient for estimating the true (i.e., complete mitogenome haplotype structure, corresponding levels of divergence, and maternal population history of our samples. Notably, discordant demographic inferences were observed when mismatch distributions of partial (i.e., partial D-Loop versus complete mitogenome sequences were compared, with the reduction in mitochondrial genomic information content observed to encourage spurious inferences in our samples. A probabilistic approach to variant prediction for the complete bobwhite mitogenomes revealed 344 segregating sites corresponding to 347 total mutations, including 49 putative nonsynonymous single nucleotide variants (SNVs distributed across 12 protein coding genes. Evidence of gross heteroplasmy was observed for 13 bobwhites, with 10 of the 13 heteroplasmies involving one moderate to high frequency SNV. Haplotype network and phylogenetic analyses for the complete bobwhite mitogenome sequences revealed two divergent maternal lineages (dXY = 0.00731; FST = 0.849; P < 0.05, thereby supporting the potential for two putative subspecies. However, the diverged lineage (n = 103 variants almost exclusively involved bobwhites geographically classified as Colinus virginianus texanus, which is discordant with the expectations of previous geographic subspecies designations. Tests of adaptive evolution for functional divergence (MKT, frequency distribution tests (D, FS and phylogenetic analyses (RAxML provide no evidence for positive selection or hybridization with the sympatric scaled quail

  16. Ringed Structures of the HD 163296 Protoplanetary Disk Revealed by ALMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isella, Andrea; Guidi, Greta; Testi, Leonardo; Liu, Shangfei; Li, Hui; Li, Shengtai; Weaver, Erik; Boehler, Yann; Carperter, John M; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, Itziar; Manara, Carlo F; Natta, Antonella; Pérez, Laura M; Ricci, Luca; Sargent, Anneila; Tazzari, Marco; Turner, Neal

    2016-12-16

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter and Submillimeter Array observations of the protoplanetary disk around the Herbig Ae star HD 163296 that trace the spatial distribution of millimeter-sized particles and cold molecular gas on spatial scales as small as 25 astronomical units (A.U.). The image of the disk recorded in the 1.3 mm continuum emission reveals three dark concentric rings that indicate the presence of dust depleted gaps at about 60, 100, and 160 A.U. from the central star. The maps of the ^{12}CO, ^{13}CO, and C^{18}O J=2-1 emission do not show such structures but reveal a change in the slope of the radial intensity profile across the positions of the dark rings in the continuum image. By comparing the observations with theoretical models for the disk emission, we find that the density of CO molecules is reduced inside the middle and outer dust gaps. However, in the inner ring there is no evidence of CO depletion. From the measurements of the dust and gas densities, we deduce that the gas-to-dust ratio varies across the disk and, in particular, it increases by at least a factor 5 within the inner dust gap compared to adjacent regions of the disk. The depletion of both dust and gas suggests that the middle and outer rings could be due to the gravitational torque exerted by two Saturn-mass planets orbiting at 100 and 160 A.U. from the star. On the other hand, the inner dust gap could result from dust accumulation at the edge of a magnetorotational instability dead zone, or from dust opacity variations at the edge of the CO frost line. Observations of the dust emission at higher angular resolution and of molecules that probe dense gas are required to establish more precisely the origins of the dark rings observed in the HD 163296 disk.

  17. UGC 4599: Revealing the Extended Structure of a Hoag’s Object Analog with HERON

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fusco, Michael; Thilker, David A.; Wen, Fufang; Xia, Junjie; Storment, Stephen; Brosch, Noah; Longstaff, Francis; Kennefick, Julia D.; Rich, Robert Michael; Halos and Environments of Nearby galaxies (HERON) Team

    2017-01-01

    The Halos and Environments of Nearby Galaxies (HERON) survey utilizes a specialized telescope for imaging low surface brightness halos and galaxy environments. One such galaxy is UGC 4599, whose HERON images show improvements in observing the extended low luminosity structure as compared to previous studies. UGC 4599 is a nearby Hoag-Type Ring Galaxy with an extremely extended HI disk. Hoag's Object is characterized by a blue star-forming ring surrounding an older yellow nucleus. In the case of UGC 4599, the nuclear region was previously revealed to closely follow a De Vaucouleurs luminosity profile, suggesting the object to be at least elliptical-like. While previous photometric studies of UGC 4599 were focused mainly on the bright core and star forming ring of the galaxy, the HERON survey is able to probe the fainter, extended halo. With an eight hour integration time, we find spiral structure surrounding the core and ring of UGC 4599. The main ring of the galaxy is broken with an m=2 (180 degree) symmetry, suggesting a two armed spiral structure. However, once the core and ring of UGC 4599 are modeled with the software GALFIT, a well defined m=1 (single arm) spiral emerges, extending from the central region to several times the radius of the ring. Though the ring appears to break in two places, the spiral structure may be comprised of mainly one dominant arm. In late type galaxies, the pitch angle of spiral arms has been shown to correlate well with the mass of the central Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) in an M-P relation. The pitch angle of the one arm spiral of UGC 4599 is measured to be roughly P=9 degrees, corresponding to a SMBH mass for UGC 4599 of between 107 and 108 solar masses (further constrained pitch angle measurements forthcoming). The outermost edge of UGC 4599 as detected in our imaging may be modeled as an extension of this one armed spiral, or as yet another ring feature. Due to many bright foreground stars, there is difficulty in ascertaining

  18. Interplay of protein and DNA structure revealed in simulations of the lac operon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke Czapla

    Full Text Available The E. coli Lac repressor is the classic textbook example of a protein that attaches to widely spaced sites along a genome and forces the intervening DNA into a loop. The short loops implicated in the regulation of the lac operon suggest the involvement of factors other than DNA and repressor in gene control. The molecular simulations presented here examine two likely structural contributions to the in-vivo looping of bacterial DNA: the distortions of the double helix introduced upon association of the highly abundant, nonspecific nucleoid protein HU and the large-scale deformations of the repressor detected in low-resolution experiments. The computations take account of the three-dimensional arrangements of nucleotides and amino acids found in crystal structures of DNA with the two proteins, the natural rest state and deformational properties of protein-free DNA, and the constraints on looping imposed by the conformation of the repressor and the orientation of bound DNA. The predicted looping propensities capture the complex, chain-length-dependent variation in repression efficacy extracted from gene expression studies and in vitro experiments and reveal unexpected chain-length-dependent variations in the uptake of HU, the deformation of repressor, and the folding of DNA. Both the opening of repressor and the presence of HU, at levels approximating those found in vivo, enhance the probability of loop formation. HU affects the global organization of the repressor and the opening of repressor influences the levels of HU binding to DNA. The length of the loop determines whether the DNA adopts antiparallel or parallel orientations on the repressor, whether the repressor is opened or closed, and how many HU molecules bind to the loop. The collective behavior of proteins and DNA is greater than the sum of the parts and hints of ways in which multiple proteins may coordinate the packaging and processing of genetic information.

  19. Metagenomes from high-temperature chemotrophic systems reveal geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskeep, William P; Rusch, Douglas B; Jay, Zackary J; Herrgard, Markus J; Kozubal, Mark A; Richardson, Toby H; Macur, Richard E; Hamamura, Natsuko; Jennings, Ryan deM; Fouke, Bruce W; Reysenbach, Anna-Louise; Roberto, Frank; Young, Mark; Schwartz, Ariel; Boyd, Eric S; Badger, Jonathan H; Mathur, Eric J; Ortmann, Alice C; Bateson, Mary; Geesey, Gill; Frazier, Marvin

    2010-03-19

    The Yellowstone caldera contains the most numerous and diverse geothermal systems on Earth, yielding an extensive array of unique high-temperature environments that host a variety of deeply-rooted and understudied Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The combination of extreme temperature and chemical conditions encountered in geothermal environments often results in considerably less microbial diversity than other terrestrial habitats and offers a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of indigenous microbial communities and for establishing linkages between putative metabolisms and element cycling. Metagenome sequence (14-15,000 Sanger reads per site) was obtained for five high-temperature (>65 degrees C) chemotrophic microbial communities sampled from geothermal springs (or pools) in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) that exhibit a wide range in geochemistry including pH, dissolved sulfide, dissolved oxygen and ferrous iron. Metagenome data revealed significant differences in the predominant phyla associated with each of these geochemical environments. Novel members of the Sulfolobales are dominant in low pH environments, while other Crenarchaeota including distantly-related Thermoproteales and Desulfurococcales populations dominate in suboxic sulfidic sediments. Several novel archaeal groups are well represented in an acidic (pH 3) Fe-oxyhydroxide mat, where a higher O2 influx is accompanied with an increase in archaeal diversity. The presence or absence of genes and pathways important in S oxidation-reduction, H2-oxidation, and aerobic respiration (terminal oxidation) provide insight regarding the metabolic strategies of indigenous organisms present in geothermal systems. Multiple-pathway and protein-specific functional analysis of metagenome sequence data corroborated results from phylogenetic analyses and clearly demonstrate major differences in metabolic potential across sites. The distribution of functional genes involved in electron

  20. Metagenomes from high-temperature chemotrophic systems reveal geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frank Roberto

    2010-03-01

    The Yellowstone caldera contains the most numerous and diverse geothermal systems on Earth, yielding an extensive array of unique high-temperature environments that host numerous deeply-rooted and understudied Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The combination of extreme temperature and chemical conditions encountered in geothermal environments often results in considerably less microbial diversity than other terrestrial habitats and offers a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of indigenous microbial communities and for establishing linkages between putative metabolisms and element cycling. Metagenome sequence (14-15,000 Sanger reads per site) was obtained for five high-temperature (> 65 oC) chemotrophic microbial communities sampled from geothermal springs (or pools) in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) that exhibit a wide range in geochemistry including pH, dissolved sulfide, dissolved O2 and ferrous Fe. Metagenome data revealed significant differences in the predominant phyla associated with each of these geochemical environments. Novel members of the Sulfolobales are dominant in low pH environments, while other Crenarchaeota including distantly-related Thermoproteales and Desulfurococcales populations dominate in suboxic sulfidic sediments. Several novel archaeal groups are well represented in an acidic (pH 3) Fe-oxyhydroxide mat, where a higher O2 influx is accompanied with an increase in archaeal diversity. The presence or absence of genes and pathways important in S oxidation-reduction, H2-oxidation, and aerobic respiration (terminal oxidation) provide insight regarding the metabolic strategies of indigenous organisms present in geothermal systems. Multiple-pathway and protein-specific functional analysis of metagenome sequence data corroborated results from phylogenetic analyses and clearly demonstrate major differences in metabolic potential across sites. The distribution of functional genes involved in electron transport is

  1. Metagenomes from high-temperature chemotrophic systems reveal geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P Inskeep

    Full Text Available The Yellowstone caldera contains the most numerous and diverse geothermal systems on Earth, yielding an extensive array of unique high-temperature environments that host a variety of deeply-rooted and understudied Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The combination of extreme temperature and chemical conditions encountered in geothermal environments often results in considerably less microbial diversity than other terrestrial habitats and offers a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of indigenous microbial communities and for establishing linkages between putative metabolisms and element cycling. Metagenome sequence (14-15,000 Sanger reads per site was obtained for five high-temperature (>65 degrees C chemotrophic microbial communities sampled from geothermal springs (or pools in Yellowstone National Park (YNP that exhibit a wide range in geochemistry including pH, dissolved sulfide, dissolved oxygen and ferrous iron. Metagenome data revealed significant differences in the predominant phyla associated with each of these geochemical environments. Novel members of the Sulfolobales are dominant in low pH environments, while other Crenarchaeota including distantly-related Thermoproteales and Desulfurococcales populations dominate in suboxic sulfidic sediments. Several novel archaeal groups are well represented in an acidic (pH 3 Fe-oxyhydroxide mat, where a higher O2 influx is accompanied with an increase in archaeal diversity. The presence or absence of genes and pathways important in S oxidation-reduction, H2-oxidation, and aerobic respiration (terminal oxidation provide insight regarding the metabolic strategies of indigenous organisms present in geothermal systems. Multiple-pathway and protein-specific functional analysis of metagenome sequence data corroborated results from phylogenetic analyses and clearly demonstrate major differences in metabolic potential across sites. The distribution of functional genes involved in

  2. Structured teleconnections reveal the South American monsoon onset: A network approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciemer, Catrin; Ekhtiari, Nikoo; Barbosa, Henrique; Boers, Niklas; Donner, Reik; Kurths, Jürgen; Rammig, Anja; Winkelmann, Ricarda

    2017-04-01

    The regional onset dates of the global monsoon systems are, to first order, determined by the seasonal shift of the intertropical convergence zone. However, precise onset dates vary substantially from year to year due to the complexity of the involved mechanisms. In this study, we investigate processes determining the onset of the South American monsoon system (SAMS). In recent years, a trend towards later onset dates of the SAMS has been observed. A later onset of the monsoon can have severe impacts on agriculture and infrastructure such as farming, water transport routes, and the stability of the Amazon rainforest in the long term. Possible reasons for this shift involve a multitude of climatic phenomena and variables relevant for the SAMS. To account for the highly interactive nature of the SAMS, we here investigate it with the help of complex networks. By studying the temporal changes of the correlation structure in spatial rainfall networks, we are able to determine coherent areas of similar precipitation patterns, spot teleconnections in terms of strongly correlated areas, detect key regions for precipitation correlations, and finally reveal the monsoon onset by an abrupt shift from an unordered to an ordered correlation structure of the network. To further evaluate the shift in the monsoon onset, we couple our rainfall network to a network of climate networks using sea surface temperature as a second variable. We are thereby able to emphasize oceanic regions that are particularly important for the SAMS and anticipate the influence of future changes of sea-surface temperature on the SAMS.

  3. Structure reveals function of the dual variable domain immunoglobulin (DVD-Ig™) molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakob, Clarissa G; Edalji, Rohinton; Judge, Russell A; DiGiammarino, Enrico; Li, Yingchun; Gu, Jijie; Ghayur, Tariq

    2013-01-01

    Several bispecific antibody-based formats have been developed over the past 25 years in an effort to produce a new generation of immunotherapeutics that target two or more disease mechanisms simultaneously. One such format, the dual-variable domain immunoglobulin (DVD-Ig™), combines the target binding domains of two monoclonal antibodies via flexible naturally occurring linkers, which yields a tetravalent IgG - like molecule. We report the structure of an interleukin (IL)12-IL18 DVD-Ig™ Fab (DFab) fragment with IL18 bound to the inner variable domain (VD) that reveals the remarkable flexibility of the DVD-Ig™ molecule and how the DVD-Ig™ format can function to bind four antigens simultaneously. An understanding of how the inner variable domain retains function is of critical importance for designing DVD-Ig™ molecules, and for better understanding of the flexibility of immunoglobulin variable domains and linkers, which may aid in the design of improved bi- and multi-specific biologics in general.

  4. Structural Studies Reveal the Functional Modularity of the Scc2-Scc4 Cohesin Loader

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C.H. Chao

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The remarkable accuracy of eukaryotic cell division is partly maintained by the cohesin complex acting as a molecular glue to prevent premature sister chromatid separation. The loading of cohesin onto chromosomes is catalyzed by the Scc2-Scc4 loader complex. Here, we report the crystal structure of Scc4 bound to the N terminus of Scc2 and show that Scc4 is a tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR superhelix. The Scc2 N terminus adopts an extended conformation and is entrapped by the core of the Scc4 superhelix. Electron microscopy (EM analysis reveals that the Scc2-Scc4 loader complex comprises three domains: a head, body, and hook. Deletion studies unambiguously assign the Scc2N-Scc4 as the globular head domain, whereas in vitro cohesin loading assays show that the central body and the hook domains are sufficient to catalyze cohesin loading onto circular DNA, but not chromatinized DNA in vivo, suggesting a possible role for Scc4 as a chromatin adaptor.

  5. Sac1--Vps74 structure reveals a mechanism to terminate phosphoinositide signaling in the Golgi apparatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cai, Yiying; Deng, Yongqiang; Horenkamp, Florian; Reinisch, Karin M.; Burd, Christopher G. [Yale-MED

    2014-08-25

    Sac1 is a phosphoinositide phosphatase of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus that controls organelle membrane composition principally via regulation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate signaling. We present a characterization of the structure of the N-terminal portion of yeast Sac1, containing the conserved Sac1 homology domain, in complex with Vps74, a phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase effector and the orthologue of human GOLPH3. The interface involves the N-terminal subdomain of the Sac1 homology domain, within which mutations in the related Sac3/Fig4 phosphatase have been linked to Charcot–Marie–Tooth disorder CMT4J and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Disruption of the Sac1–Vps74 interface results in a broader distribution of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate within the Golgi apparatus and failure to maintain residence of a medial Golgi mannosyltransferase. The analysis prompts a revision of the membrane-docking mechanism for GOLPH3 family proteins and reveals how an effector of phosphoinositide signaling serves a dual function in signal termination.

  6. Structure analysis reveals the flexibility of the ADAMTS-5 active site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shieh, Huey-Sheng; Tomasselli, Alfredo G.; Mathis, Karl J.; Schnute, Mark E.; Woodard, Scott S.; Caspers, Nicole; Williams, Jennifer M.; Kiefer, James R.; Munie, Grace; Wittwer, Arthur; Malfait, Anne-Marie; Tortorella, Micky D. (Pfizer)

    2012-03-02

    A ((1S,2R)-2-hydroxy-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-yl) succinamide derivative (here referred to as Compound 12) shows significant activity toward many matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-13. Modeling studies had predicted that this compound would not bind to ADAMTS-5 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-5) due to its shallow S1' pocket. However, inhibition analysis revealed it to be a nanomolar inhibitor of both ADAMTS-4 and -5. The observed inconsistency was explained by analysis of crystallographic structures, which showed that Compound 12 in complex with the catalytic domain of ADAMTS-5 (cataTS5) exhibits an unusual conformation in the S1' pocket of the protein. This first demonstration that cataTS5 can undergo an induced conformational change in its active site pocket by a molecule like Compound 12 should enable the design of new aggrecanase inhibitors with better potency and selectivity profiles.

  7. Revealing the potential of Didodecyldimethylammonium bromide as efficient scaffold for fabrication of nano liquid crystalline structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanwar, Rohini; Kaur, Gurpreet; Mehta, S K

    2016-03-01

    To exploit the potential of Didodecyldimethylammonium bromide (D12DAB) as a core lipidic constituent, an attempt was made to fabricate and optimize cationic nanostructured lipid carriers (cNLCs) using a cost-effective microemulsification methodology. Designed composition was optimized by studying the effect of different microemulsion components on D12DAB cNLCs characteristics. ​Spherical shaped D12DAB cNLCs were obtained with an average size of ∼160 nm and zeta potential of +30.2 mV. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) depicted the presence of thermotropic character, whereas polarized optical microscopy confirmed the mesophase like behavior of D12DAB based cNLCs. In addition, hemolysis analysis revealed that the toxicity was concentration dependent as LC50 was reached at a concentration of 50 μg/mL of cNLCs. This class of cNLCs is expected to become a potent candidate for a broad spectrum of medicaments as carriers, targeting for pharmaceutical and medicinal purposes, due to the combination of a hard lipid with a soft lipid, where the liquid crystalline structure of the lipid co-exists.

  8. The Moisture Structure of ISO in Western North Pacific Revealed by AIRS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TAO Li; FU Xiouhua; WANG Bin

    2009-01-01

    Using the humidity profiles from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) dataset, rainfall from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Global Precipitation Index (GPI), and surface winds from QuickSCAT (QSCAT) as well as SST from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for NASA's Earth Observing System (AMSR_E), we analyzed the structure of summer intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) over the western North Pacific region in 2003-2004. We find that the signal of 20-90-day oscillations in the western North Pacific originates from the equatorial Indian Ocean, and propagates eastward to Philippine Sea and then moves northwestward to South China. The AIRS humidity data reveal that the boundary-layer moisture leads the mid-troposphere moisture during the ISO propagation. The positive SST anomaly may play an important role to moistening the boundary-layer, which preconditions the ISO propagation. Therefore, the intraseasonal SST anomaly could positively feed back to the atmosphere through moistening the boundary-layer, destabilizing the troposphere, and contributing to the northwestward propagation of the ISO in western North Pacific. On the other hand, the salient feature that the boundary-layer moisture anomaly leads mid-troposphere moisture does not exist in ECMWF/TOGA analysis.

  9. Mitochondrial haplotypes reveal a strong genetic structure for three Indian sheep breeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardeshi, V C; Kadoo, N Y; Sainani, M N; Meadows, J R S; Kijas, J W; Gupta, V S

    2007-10-01

    This survey represents the first characterization of mitochondrial DNA diversity within three breeds of Indian sheep (two strains of the Deccani breed, as well as the Bannur and Garole breeds) from different geographic regions and with divergent phenotypic characteristics. A 1061-bp fragment of the mitochondrial genome spanning the control region, a portion of the 12S rRNA gene and the complete phenyl tRNA gene, was sequenced from 73 animals and compared with the corresponding published sequence from European and Asian breeds and the European Mouflon (Ovis musimon). Analysis of all 156 sequences revealed 73 haplotypes, 52 of which belonged to the Indian breeds. The three Indian breeds had no haplotypes in common, but one Indian haplotype was shared with European and other Asian breeds. The highest nucleotide and haplotype diversity was observed in the Bannur breed (0.00355 and 0.981 respectively), while the minimum was in the Sangamneri strain of the Deccani breed (0.00167 and 0.882 respectively). All 52 Indian haplotypes belonged to mitochondrial lineage A. Therefore, these Indian sheep are distinct from other Asian and European breeds studied so far. The relationships among the haplotypes showed strong breed structure and almost no introgression among these Indian breeds, consistent with Indian sheep husbandry, which discourages genetic exchange between breeds. These results have implications for the conservation of India's ovine biodiversity and suggest a common origin for the breeds investigated.

  10. Structural dynamics of myosin 5 during processive motion revealed by interferometric scattering microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrecka, Joanna; Ortega Arroyo, Jaime; Takagi, Yasuharu; de Wit, Gabrielle; Fineberg, Adam; MacKinnon, Lachlan; Young, Gavin; Sellers, James R; Kukura, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    Myosin 5a is a dual-headed molecular motor that transports cargo along actin filaments. By following the motion of individual heads with interferometric scattering microscopy at nm spatial and ms temporal precision we found that the detached head occupies a loosely fixed position to one side of actin from which it rebinds in a controlled manner while executing a step. Improving the spatial precision to the sub-nm regime provided evidence for an ångstrom-level structural transition in the motor domain associated with the power stroke. Simultaneous tracking of both heads revealed that consecutive steps follow identical paths to the same side of actin in a compass-like spinning motion demonstrating a symmetrical walking pattern. These results visualize many of the critical unknown aspects of the stepping mechanism of myosin 5 including head–head coordination, the origin of lever-arm motion and the spatiotemporal dynamics of the translocating head during individual steps. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05413.001 PMID:25748137

  11. Changes of multi-scale structure during mimicked DSC heating reveal the nature of starch gelatinization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shujun; Zhang, Xiu; Wang, Shuo; Copeland, Les

    2016-06-20

    A thorough understanding of starch gelatinization is extremely important for precise control of starch functional properties for food processing and human nutrition. Here we reveal the molecular mechanism of starch gelatinization by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in conjunction with a protocol using the rapid viscosity analyzer (RVA) to generate material for analysis under conditions that simulated the DSC heating profiles. The results from DSC, FTIR, Raman, X-ray diffraction and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analyses all showed that residual structural order remained in starch that was heated to the DSC endotherm end temperature in starch:water mixtures of 0.5 to 4:1 (v/w). We conclude from this study that the DSC endotherm of starch at a water:starch ratio of 2 to 4 (v/w) does not represent complete starch gelatinization. The DSC endotherm of starch involves not only the water uptake and swelling of amorphous regions, but also the melting of starch crystallites.

  12. Mesoscopic structures reveal the network between the layers of multiplex data sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacovacci, Jacopo; Wu, Zhihao; Bianconi, Ginestra

    2015-10-01

    Multiplex networks describe a large variety of complex systems, whose elements (nodes) can be connected by different types of interactions forming different layers (networks) of the multiplex. Multiplex networks include social networks, transportation networks, or biological networks in the cell or in the brain. Extracting relevant information from these networks is of crucial importance for solving challenging inference problems and for characterizing the multiplex networks microscopic and mesoscopic structure. Here we propose an information theory method to extract the network between the layers of multiplex data sets, forming a "network of networks." We build an indicator function, based on the entropy of network ensembles, to characterize the mesoscopic similarities between the layers of a multiplex network, and we use clustering techniques to characterize the communities present in this network of networks. We apply the proposed method to study the Multiplex Collaboration Network formed by scientists collaborating on different subjects and publishing in the American Physical Society journals. The analysis of this data set reveals the interplay between the collaboration networks and the organization of knowledge in physics.

  13. Revealing the 3D internal structure of natural polymer microcomposites using X-ray ultra microtomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakzad, A; Parikh, N; Heiden, P A; Yassar, R S

    2011-07-01

    Properties of composite materials are directly affected by the spatial arrangement of reinforcement and matrix. In this research, partially hydrolysed cellulose microcrystals were used to fabricate polycaprolactone microcomposites. The spatial distribution of cellulose microcrystals was characterized by a newly developed technique of X-ray ultra microscopy and microtomography. The phase and absorption contrast imaging of X-ray ultra microscopy revealed two-dimensional and three-dimensional information on CMC distribution in polymer matrices. The highest contrast and flux (signal-to-noise ratio) were obtained using vanadium foil targets with the accelerating voltage of 30 keV and beam current of >200 nA. The spatial distribution of cellulose microcrystals was correlated to the mechanical properties of the microcomposites. It was observed that heterogeneous distribution and clustering of cellulose microcrystals resulted in degradation of tensile strength and elastic modulus of composites. The utilization of X-ray ultra microscopy can open up new opportunities for composite researchers to explore the internal structure of microcomposites. X-ray ultra microscopy sample preparation is relatively simple in comparison to transmission electron microscopy and the spatial information is gathered at much larger scale.

  14. Revealing the potential of squid chitosan-based structures for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reys, L L; Silva, S S; Oliveira, J M; Caridade, S G; Mano, J F; Silva, T H; Reis, R L

    2013-08-01

    In recent years, much attention has been given to different marine organisms, namely as potential sources of valuable materials with a vast range of properties and characteristics. In this work, β-chitin was isolated from the endoskeleton of the giant squid Dosidicus gigas and further deacetylated to produce chitosan. Then, the squid chitosan was processed into membranes and scaffolds using solvent casting and freeze-drying, respectively, to assess their potential biomedical application. The developed membranes have shown to be stiffer and less hydrophobic than those obtained with commercial chitosan. On the other hand, the morphological characterization of the developed scaffolds, by SEM and micro-computed tomography, revealed that the matrices were formed with a lamellar structure. The findings also indicated that the treatment with ethanol prior to neutralization with sodium hydroxide caused the formation of larger pores and loss of some lamellar features. The in vitro cell culture study has shown that all chitosan scaffolds exhibited a non-cytotoxic effect over the mouse fibroblast-like cell line, L929 cells. Thus, chitosan produced from the endoskeletons of the giant squid Dosidicus gigas has proven to be a valuable alternative to existing commercial materials when considering its use as biomaterial.

  15. Changes of multi-scale structure during mimicked DSC heating reveal the nature of starch gelatinization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shujun; Zhang, Xiu; Wang, Shuo; Copeland, Les

    2016-06-01

    A thorough understanding of starch gelatinization is extremely important for precise control of starch functional properties for food processing and human nutrition. Here we reveal the molecular mechanism of starch gelatinization by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in conjunction with a protocol using the rapid viscosity analyzer (RVA) to generate material for analysis under conditions that simulated the DSC heating profiles. The results from DSC, FTIR, Raman, X-ray diffraction and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analyses all showed that residual structural order remained in starch that was heated to the DSC endotherm end temperature in starch:water mixtures of 0.5 to 4:1 (v/w). We conclude from this study that the DSC endotherm of starch at a water:starch ratio of 2 to 4 (v/w) does not represent complete starch gelatinization. The DSC endotherm of starch involves not only the water uptake and swelling of amorphous regions, but also the melting of starch crystallites.

  16. Sac1-Vps74 structure reveals a mechanism to terminate phosphoinositide signaling in the Golgi apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Yiying; Deng, Yongqiang; Horenkamp, Florian; Reinisch, Karin M; Burd, Christopher G

    2014-08-18

    Sac1 is a phosphoinositide phosphatase of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus that controls organelle membrane composition principally via regulation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate signaling. We present a characterization of the structure of the N-terminal portion of yeast Sac1, containing the conserved Sac1 homology domain, in complex with Vps74, a phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase effector and the orthologue of human GOLPH3. The interface involves the N-terminal subdomain of the Sac1 homology domain, within which mutations in the related Sac3/Fig4 phosphatase have been linked to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder CMT4J and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Disruption of the Sac1-Vps74 interface results in a broader distribution of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate within the Golgi apparatus and failure to maintain residence of a medial Golgi mannosyltransferase. The analysis prompts a revision of the membrane-docking mechanism for GOLPH3 family proteins and reveals how an effector of phosphoinositide signaling serves a dual function in signal termination.

  17. Can Quick Release Experiments Reveal the Muscle Structure? A Bionic Approach

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    D. F. B. Haeufle; M. Günther; R. Blickhan; S. Schmitt

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this study was to understand the macroscopic mechanical structure and function of biological muscle with respect to its dynamic role in the contraction.A recently published muscle model,deriving the hyperbolic force-velocity relation from first-order mechanical principles,predicts different force-velocity operating points for different load situations.With anew approach,this model could be simplified and thus,transferred into a numerical simulation and a hardware experiment.Two types of quick release experiments were performed in simulation and with the hardware setup,which represent two extreme cases of the contraction dynamics:against a constant force (isotonic) and against an inertial mass.Both experiments revealed hyperbolic or hyperbolic-like force-velocity relations.Interestingly,the analytical model not only predicts these extreme cases,but also additionally all contraction states in between.It was possible to validate these predictions with the numerical model and the hardware experiment.These results prove that the origin of the hyperbolic force-velocity relation can be mechanically explained on a macroscopic level by the dynamical interaction of three mechanical elements.The implications for the interpretation of biological muscle experiments and the realization of muscle-like bionic actuators are discussed.

  18. Structures of the NLRP14 pyrin domain reveal a conformational switch mechanism regulating its molecular interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eibl, Clarissa; Hessenberger, Manuel; Wenger, Julia; Brandstetter, Hans, E-mail: hans.brandstetter@sbg.ac.at [University of Salzburg, Billrothstrasse 11, 5020 Salzburg (Austria)

    2014-07-01

    Pyrin domains (PYDs) recruit downstream effector molecules in NLR signalling. A specific charge-relay system suggests a the formation of a signalling complex involving a PYD dimer. The cytosolic tripartite NLR receptors serve as important signalling platforms in innate immunity. While the C-terminal domains act as sensor and activation modules, the N-terminal death-like domain, e.g. the CARD or pyrin domain, is thought to recruit downstream effector molecules by homotypic interactions. Such homotypic complexes have been determined for all members of the death-domain superfamily except for pyrin domains. Here, crystal structures of human NLRP14 pyrin-domain variants are reported. The wild-type protein as well as the clinical D86V mutant reveal an unexpected rearrangement of the C-terminal helix α6, resulting in an extended α5/6 stem-helix. This reordering mediates a novel symmetric pyrin-domain dimerization mode. The conformational switching is controlled by a charge-relay system with a drastic impact on protein stability. How the identified charge relay allows classification of NLRP receptors with respect to distinct recruitment mechanisms is discussed.

  19. Structure of the DSM-IV personality disorders as revealed in clinician ratings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blais, Mark A; Malone, Johanna C

    2013-05-01

    The revisions proposed for the DSM-5 would greatly alter how personality pathology is conceptualized, assessed, and diagnosed. One aspect of the proposed changes, elimination of four current personality disorders, has raised considerable controversy. The present study attempts to inform this debate by exploring clinicians' views of the structure of Personality Disorders using the current diagnostic system, the DSM-IV. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the DSM-IV Personality Disorder criteria using clinician ratings for 280 patients. The factor analysis revealed eight clear and meaningful factors. The eight factors contained all six personality disorders proposed for retention in DSM-5 but also contained clear representations of two disorders (Paranoid and Schizoid) identified for removal from the system. These conditions appear to have clinical utility and their removal may have unintended negative consequences in clinical practice. Dependent and Avoidant criteria also merged to form a new construct with interesting clinical implications. These findings provide new insights into the complex typologies clinicians employ when applying the DSM-IV system to personality disordered patients. Lastly we argue that successful refinement of clinically significant constructs, like diagnostic systems, requires a balanced appraisal of evidence for clinical utility as well as external and internal validity.

  20. Mesoscopic structures reveal the network between the layers of multiplex data sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacovacci, Jacopo; Wu, Zhihao; Bianconi, Ginestra

    2015-10-01

    Multiplex networks describe a large variety of complex systems, whose elements (nodes) can be connected by different types of interactions forming different layers (networks) of the multiplex. Multiplex networks include social networks, transportation networks, or biological networks in the cell or in the brain. Extracting relevant information from these networks is of crucial importance for solving challenging inference problems and for characterizing the multiplex networks microscopic and mesoscopic structure. Here we propose an information theory method to extract the network between the layers of multiplex data sets, forming a "network of networks." We build an indicator function, based on the entropy of network ensembles, to characterize the mesoscopic similarities between the layers of a multiplex network, and we use clustering techniques to characterize the communities present in this network of networks. We apply the proposed method to study the Multiplex Collaboration Network formed by scientists collaborating on different subjects and publishing in the American Physical Society journals. The analysis of this data set reveals the interplay between the collaboration networks and the organization of knowledge in physics.

  1. Genetic structure of Tibetan populations in Gansu revealed by forensic STR loci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Hong-Bing; Wang, Chuan-Chao; Wang, Jiang; Tao, Xiaolan; Shang, Lei; Wen, Shao-Qing; Du, Qiajun; Deng, Qiongying; Xu, Bingying; Huang, Ying; Wang, Hong-Dan; Li, Shujin; Bin Cong; Ma, Liying; Jin, Li; Krause, Johannes; Li, Hui

    2017-01-01

    The origin and diversification of Sino-Tibetan speaking populations have been long-standing hot debates. However, the limited genetic information of Tibetan populations keeps this topic far from clear. In the present study, we genotyped 15 forensic autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) from 803 unrelated Tibetan individuals from Gansu Province (635 from Gannan and 168 from Tianzhu) in northwest China. We combined these data with published dataset to infer a detailed population affinities and genetic substructure of Sino-Tibetan populations. Our results revealed Tibetan populations in Gannan and Tianzhu are genetically very similar with Tibetans from other regions. The Tibetans in Tianzhu have received more genetic influence from surrounding lowland populations. The genetic structure of Sino-Tibetan populations was strongly correlated with linguistic affiliations. Although the among-population variances are relatively small, the genetic components for Tibetan, Lolo-Burmese, and Han Chinese were quite distinctive, especially for the Deng, Nu, and Derung of Lolo-Burmese. Han Chinese but not Tibetans are suggested to share substantial genetic component with southern natives, such as Tai-Kadai and Hmong-Mien speaking populations, and with other lowland East Asian populations, which implies there might be extensive gene flow between those lowland groups and Han Chinese after Han Chinese were separated from Tibetans. The dataset generated in present study is also valuable for forensic identification and paternity tests in China. PMID:28112227

  2. Ribosome•RelA structures reveal the mechanism of stringent response activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loveland, Anna B; Bah, Eugene; Madireddy, Rohini; Zhang, Ying; Brilot, Axel F; Grigorieff, Nikolaus; Korostelev, Andrei A

    2016-01-01

    Stringent response is a conserved bacterial stress response underlying virulence and antibiotic resistance. RelA/SpoT-homolog proteins synthesize transcriptional modulators (p)ppGpp, allowing bacteria to adapt to stress. RelA is activated during amino-acid starvation, when cognate deacyl-tRNA binds to the ribosomal A (aminoacyl-tRNA) site. We report four cryo-EM structures of E. coli RelA bound to the 70S ribosome, in the absence and presence of deacyl-tRNA accommodating in the 30S A site. The boomerang-shaped RelA with a wingspan of more than 100 Å wraps around the A/R (30S A-site/RelA-bound) tRNA. The CCA end of the A/R tRNA pins the central TGS domain against the 30S subunit, presenting the (p)ppGpp-synthetase domain near the 30S spur. The ribosome and A/R tRNA are captured in three conformations, revealing hitherto elusive states of tRNA engagement with the ribosomal decoding center. Decoding-center rearrangements are coupled with the step-wise 30S-subunit 'closure', providing insights into the dynamics of high-fidelity tRNA decoding. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17029.001 PMID:27434674

  3. The structure of BVU2987 from Bacteroides vulgatus reveals a superfamily of bacterial periplasmic proteins with possible inhibitory function

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Proteins that contain the DUF2874 domain constitute a new Pfam family PF11396. Members of this family have predominantly been identified in microbes found in the human gut and oral cavity. The crystal structure of one member of this family, BVU2987 from Bacteroides vulgatus, has been determined, revealing a β-lactamase inhibitor protein-like structure with a tandem repeat of domains. Sequence analysis and structural comparisons reveal that BVU2987 and other DUF2874 proteins are related to β-l...

  4. The structure of BVU2987 from Bacteroides vulgatus reveals a superfamily of bacterial periplasmic proteins with possible inhibitory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Debanu; Finn, Robert D; Carlton, Dennis; Miller, Mitchell D; Abdubek, Polat; Astakhova, Tamara; Axelrod, Herbert L; Bakolitsa, Constantina; Chen, Connie; Chiu, Hsiu Ju; Chiu, Michelle; Clayton, Thomas; Deller, Marc C; Duan, Lian; Ellrott, Kyle; Ernst, Dustin; Farr, Carol L; Feuerhelm, Julie; Grant, Joanna C; Grzechnik, Anna; Han, Gye Won; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Jin, Kevin K; Klock, Heath E; Knuth, Mark W; Kozbial, Piotr; Krishna, S Sri; Kumar, Abhinav; Marciano, David; McMullan, Daniel; Morse, Andrew T; Nigoghossian, Edward; Nopakun, Amanda; Okach, Linda; Puckett, Christina; Reyes, Ron; Rife, Christopher L; Sefcovic, Natasha; Tien, Henry J; Trame, Christine B; van den Bedem, Henry; Weekes, Dana; Wooten, Tiffany; Xu, Qingping; Hodgson, Keith O; Wooley, John; Elsliger, Marc André; Deacon, Ashley M; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A; Wilson, Ian A

    2010-10-01

    Proteins that contain the DUF2874 domain constitute a new Pfam family PF11396. Members of this family have predominantly been identified in microbes found in the human gut and oral cavity. The crystal structure of one member of this family, BVU2987 from Bacteroides vulgatus, has been determined, revealing a β-lactamase inhibitor protein-like structure with a tandem repeat of domains. Sequence analysis and structural comparisons reveal that BVU2987 and other DUF2874 proteins are related to β-lactamase inhibitor protein, PepSY and SmpA_OmlA proteins and hence are likely to function as inhibitory proteins.

  5. SKY analysis revealed recurrent numerical and structural chromosome changes in BDII rat endometrial carcinomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behboudi Afrouz

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genomic alterations are common features of cancer cells, and some of these changes are proven to be neoplastic-specific. Such alterations may serve as valuable tools for diagnosis and classification of tumors, prediction of clinical outcome, disease monitoring, and choice of therapy as well as for providing clues to the location of crucial cancer-related genes. Endometrial carcinoma (EC is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy of the female genital tract, ranking fourth among all invasive tumors affecting women. Cytogenetic studies of human ECs have not produced very conclusive data, since many of these studies are based on karyotyping of limited number of cases and no really specific karyotypic changes have yet been identified. As the majority of the genes are conserved among mammals, the use of inbred animal model systems may serve as a tool for identification of underlying genes and pathways involved in tumorigenesis in humans. In the present work we used spectral karyotyping (SKY to identify cancer-related aberrations in a well-characterized experimental model for spontaneous endometrial carcinoma in the BDII rat tumor model. Results Analysis of 21 experimental ECs revealed specific nonrandom numerical and structural chromosomal changes. The most recurrent numerical alterations were gains in rat chromosome 4 (RNO4 and losses in RNO15. The most commonly structural changes were mainly in form of chromosomal translocations and were detected in RNO3, RNO6, RNO10, RNO11, RNO12, and RNO20. Unbalanced chromosomal translocations involving RNO3p was the most commonly observed structural changes in this material followed by RNO11p and RNO10 translocations. Conclusion The non-random nature of these events, as documented by their high frequencies of incidence, is suggesting for dynamic selection of these changes during experimental EC tumorigenesis and therefore for their potential contribution into development of this malignancy

  6. Orogen-scale anticline revealed in the Southern Alps of New Zealand by structural thermochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Renjie; Brandon, Mark

    2017-04-01

    A dense set of cooling ages from the Southern Alps reveals an orogen-scale anticline of cooling-age isosurfaces (isochrones) and provides an interesting example of structural thermochronology, where isochrones are used as structural markers. The isochrone concept is an integral aspect of the age-elevation method, but the latter implicitly assumes that all isochrones are horizontal. Our experience in New Zeland and elsewhere is that isochrones are commonly tilted after formation. We use a more general approach that solves for orientation of the isochrone surfaces, and also the slope of the age-elevation trend, where "elevation" is measured normal to the isochrone surfaces. In New Zealand, collision and convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates have resulted in the formation and continuing growth of the Southern Alps, a prototypical orogenic wedge. In the western side, the Southern Alps is bounded by the Alpine fault, along with deeply exhumed rocks from depths up to 25 km. There are 150 apatite and 200 zircon fission-track (AFT, ZFT) ages that cover the vast region of the South Island of New Zealand from Lake Summer to Lake Wanaka. The AFT ages range from Letters, 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.05.022). We use a least-squares method to solve for a best-fit sequence of dipping isochrone surfaces. The solution specifies the strike, dip and spacing of the parallel isochrones, the last of which indicates the velocity of the isochrones passing through the closure depth. We find that the calculation of the entire dataset failed to yield reasonable results, implying nonplanar structures at the regional scale. Using subsets of data, we observed three distinct zones of isochrones from E to W across the South Island. 1) The large area east of the Southern Alps in the central South Island contains ZFT isochrones that dip shallowly (young age and spacing, but dip 10-30 degrees to the west. Collectively, these observations indicate an anticlinal structure across the

  7. Horizontal Structure of Dynamical Instability at Marine Stratocumulus Cloud Top Revealed in Polarized Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A. B.; Diner, D. J.; Matheou, G.; Teixeira, J.; Qu, Z.; Emde, C.

    2014-12-01

    Marine stratocumulus (Sc) layers cover vast regions and, due to their high opacities, they play a major role in the Earth's solar radiation budget. They also have remarkably flat upper boundaries due to strong gradients in relative humidity at the top of the boundary layer (BL). However, those very gradients are unstable at scales as small as meters depending on fluctuations of temperature and liquid water content, hence radiative cooling in the thermal IR. The ensuing turbulent mixing of moist and dry air at cloud top due to such small-scale dynamical processes is not benign. It controls the structure of the entire marine BL, hence the Sc life-cycle, hence large-scale subsidence, hence global circulation and, ultimately, climate. This physical connection across many orders of magnitude in scale makes the prognosis and microphysical parameterization of marine Sc particularly challenging for climate modelers. It also makes these clouds high-value targets for remote sensing, both space-based and airborne. Airborne sensors can easily achieve the resolution required to image cloud-top instabilities but natural sunlight is so highly scattered that the finest spatial features are all but erased by the "radiative smoothing" process. However, we will show that JPL's Airborne Multi-angle Spectro-Polarimetric Imager (AirMSPI), which flies on NASA's ER-2 aircraft at 20 km altitude, reveals in near-backscattered polarized light the previously unseen horizontal structure of the marine Sc cloud top physics and dynamics at 10 m resolution across a 10 km swath. It appears as a complex network of meandering filaments. Large-Eddy Simulation modeling of these oceanic clouds with bin microphysics and state-of-the-art polarized 3D radiative transfer have been harnessed to model AirMSPI observations of the first three Stokes vector components in the relevant observational geometry for a 2.5x2.5 km^2 region. Synthetic imagery obtained at JPL's High-Performance Computing facility shows

  8. Complex Crustal Structure Beneath Western Turkey Revealed by 3D Seismic Full Waveform Inversion (FWI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubuk-Sabuncu, Yesim; Taymaz, Tuncay; Fichtner, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    We present a 3D radially anisotropic velocity model of the crust and uppermost mantle structure beneath the Sea of Marmara and surroundings based on the full waveform inversion method. The intense seismic activity and crustal deformation are observed in the Northwest Turkey due to transition tectonics between the strike-slip North Anatolian Fault (NAF) and the extensional Aegean region. We have selected and simulated complete waveforms of 62 earthquakes (Mw > 4.0) occurred during 2007-2015, and recorded at (Δ DAD). The spectral-element solver of the wave equation, SES3D algorithm, is used to simulate seismic wave propagation in 3D spherical coordinates (Fichtner, 2009). The Large Scale Seismic Inversion Framework (LASIF) workflow tool is also used to perform full seismic waveform inversion (Krischer et al., 2015). The initial 3D Earth model is implemented from the multi-scale seismic tomography study of Fichtner et al. (2013). Discrepancies between the observed and simulated synthetic waveforms are determined using the time-frequency misfits which allows a separation between phase and amplitude information (Fichtner et al., 2008). The conjugate gradient optimization method is used to iteratively update the initial Earth model when minimizing the misfit. The inversion is terminated after 19 iterations since no further advances are observed in updated models. Our analysis revealed shear wave velocity variations of the shallow and deeper crustal structure beneath western Turkey down to depths of ~35-40 km. Low shear wave velocity anomalies are observed in the upper and mid crustal depths beneath major fault zones located in the study region. Low velocity zones also tend to mark the outline of young volcanic areas. Our final 3D Earth model is tested using forward wave simulations of earthquakes (M ≥ 3.7) that were not used during the inversion process. The comparison of observed and synthetic seismograms, calculated by initial and final models, showed significant

  9. A tri-oceanic perspective: DNA barcoding reveals geographic structure and cryptic diversity in Canadian polychaetes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina M Carr

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although polychaetes are one of the dominant taxa in marine communities, their distributions and taxonomic diversity are poorly understood. Recent studies have shown that many species thought to have broad distributions are actually a complex of allied species. In Canada, 12% of polychaete species are thought to occur in Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific Oceans, but the extent of gene flow among their populations has not been tested. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sequence variation in a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI gene was employed to compare morphological versus molecular diversity estimates, to examine gene flow among populations of widespread species, and to explore connectivity patterns among Canada's three oceans. Analysis of 1876 specimens, representing 333 provisional species, revealed 40 times more sequence divergence between than within species (16.5% versus 0.38%. Genetic data suggest that one quarter of previously recognized species actually include two or more divergent lineages, indicating that richness in this region is currently underestimated. Few species with a tri-oceanic distribution showed genetic cohesion. Instead, large genetic breaks occur between Pacific and Atlantic-Arctic lineages, suggesting their long-term separation. High connectivity among Arctic and Atlantic regions and low connectivity with the Pacific further supports the conclusion that Canadian polychaetes are partitioned into two distinct faunas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results of this study confirm that COI sequences are an effective tool for species identification in polychaetes, and suggest that DNA barcoding will aid the recognition of species overlooked by the current taxonomic system. The consistent geographic structuring within presumed widespread species suggests that historical range fragmentation during the Pleistocene ultimately increased Canadian polychaete diversity and that the coastal British Columbia

  10. Rangewide genetic analysis of Lesser Prairie-Chicken reveals population structure, range expansion, and possible introgression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; DeYoung, Randall W; Fike, Jennifer; Hagen, Christian A.; Johnson, Jeff A.; Larsson, Lena C; Patten, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been markedly reduced due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. Portions of the historical range, however, have been recolonized and even expanded due to planting of conservation reserve program (CRP) fields that provide favorable vegetation structure for Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The source population(s) feeding the range expansion is unknown, yet has resulted in overlap between Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) increasing the potential for hybridization. Our objectives were to characterize connectivity and genetic diversity among populations, identify source population(s) of recent range expansion, and examine hybridization with the Greater Prairie-Chicken. We analyzed 640 samples from across the range using 13 microsatellites. We identified three to four populations corresponding largely to ecoregions. The Shinnery Oak Prairie and Sand Sagebrush Prairie represented genetically distinct populations (F ST > 0.034 and F ST > 0.023 respectively). The Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic and Mixed Grass ecoregions appeared admixed (F ST = 0.009). Genetic diversity was similar among ecoregions and N e ranged from 142 (95 % CI 99–236) for the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic to 296 (95 % CI 233–396) in the Mixed Grass Prairie. No recent migration was detected among ecoregions, except asymmetric dispersal from both the Mixed Grass Prairie and to a lesser extent the Sand Sagebrush Prairie north into adjacent Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic (m = 0.207, 95 % CI 0.116–0.298, m = 0.097, 95 % CI 0.010–0.183, respectively). Indices investigating potential hybridization in the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic revealed that six of the 13 individuals with hybrid phenotypes were significantly admixed suggesting hybridization. Continued monitoring of diversity within and among ecoregions is warranted as are actions promoting genetic connectivity and range expansion.

  11. Whole-brain analytic measures of network communication reveal increased structure-function correlation in right temporal lobe epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Wirsich

    2016-01-01

    In rTLE patients, we found a widespread hypercorrelated functional network. Network communication analysis revealed greater unspecific branching of the shortest path (search information in the structural connectome and a higher global correlation between the structural and functional connectivity for the patient group. We also found evidence for a preserved structural rich-club in the patient group. In sum, global augmentation of structure-function correlation might be linked to a smaller functional repertoire in rTLE patients, while sparing the central core of the brain which may represent a pathway that facilitates the spread of seizures.

  12. High Resolution Crystal Structure of Human [beta]-Glucuronidase Reveals Structural Basis of Lysosome Targeting: e79687

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Md Imtaiyaz Hassan; Abdul Waheed; Jeffery H Grubb; Herbert E Klei; Sergey Korolev; William S Sly

    2013-01-01

    ...). Here we report a high resolution crystal structure of human GUS at 1.7 Å resolution and present an extensive analysis of the structural features, unifying recent findings in the field of lysosome targeting and glycosyl hydrolases...

  13. Solution NMR Structure of a Ligand/Hybrid-2-G-Quadruplex Complex Reveals Rearrangements that Affect Ligand Binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirmer-Bartoschek, Julia; Bendel, Lars Erik; Jonker, Hendrik R A; Grün, J Tassilo; Papi, Francesco; Bazzicalupi, Carla; Messori, Luigi; Gratteri, Paola; Schwalbe, Harald

    2017-06-12

    Telomeric G-quadruplexes have recently emerged as drug targets in cancer research. Herein, we present the first NMR structure of a telomeric DNA G-quadruplex that adopts the biologically relevant hybrid-2 conformation in a ligand-bound state. We solved the complex with a metalorganic gold(III) ligand that stabilizes G-quadruplexes. Analysis of the free and bound structures reveals structural changes in the capping region of the G-quadruplex. The ligand is sandwiched between one terminal G-tetrad and a flanking nucleotide. This complex structure involves a major structural rearrangement compared to the free G-quadruplex structure as observed for other G-quadruplexes in different conformations, invalidating simple docking approaches to ligand-G-quadruplex structure determination. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Cloud top structure of Venus revealed by Subaru/COMICS mid-infrared images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, T. M.; Sagawa, H.; Kouyama, T.; Mitsuyama, K.; Satoh, T.; Ohtsuki, S.; Ueno, M.; Kasaba, Y.; Nakamura, M.; Imamura, T.

    2014-11-01

    We have investigated the cloud top structure of Venus by analyzing ground-based images taken at the mid-infrared wavelengths of 8.66 μm and 11.34 μm. Venus at a solar phase angle of ∼90°, with the morning terminator in view, was observed by the Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (COMICS), mounted on the 8.2-m Subaru Telescope, during the period October 25-29, 2007. The disk-averaged brightness temperatures for the observation period are ∼230 K and ∼238 K at 8.66 μm and 11.34 μm, respectively. The obtained images with good signal-to-noise ratio and with high spatial resolution (∼200 km at the sub-observer point) provide several important findings. First, we present observational evidence, for the first time, of the possibility that the westward rotation of the polar features (the hot polar spots and the surrounding cold collars) is synchronized between the northern and southern hemispheres. Second, after high-pass filtering, the images reveal that streaks and mottled and patchy patterns are distributed over the entire disk, with typical amplitudes of ∼0.5 K, and vary from day to day. The detected features, some of which are similar to those seen in past UV images, result from inhomogeneities of both the temperature and the cloud top altitude. Third, the equatorial center-to-limb variations of brightness temperatures have a systematic day-night asymmetry, except those on October 25, that the dayside brightness temperatures are higher than the nightside brightness temperatures by 0-4 K under the same viewing geometry. Such asymmetry would be caused by the propagation of the migrating semidiurnal tide. Finally, by applying the lapse rates deduced from previous studies, we demonstrate that the equatorial center-to-limb curves in the two spectral channels give access to two parameters: the cloud scale height H and the cloud top altitude zc. The acceptable models for data on October 25 are obtained at H = 2.4-4.3 km and zc = 66-69 km; this supports

  15. Full-length RNA structure prediction of the HIV-1 genome reveals a conserved core domain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sükösd, Zsuzsanna; Andersen, Ebbe Sloth; Seemann, Ernst Stefan;

    2015-01-01

    of the HIV-1 genome is highly variable in most regions, with a limited number of stable and conserved RNA secondary structures. Most interesting, a set of long distance interactions form a core organizing structure (COS) that organize the genome into three major structural domains. Despite overlapping...

  16. Crystal structures and molecular dynamics simulations of thermophilic malate dehydrogenase reveal critical loop motion for co-substrate binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Chih-Hung; Hwang, Tzann-Shun; Chang, Yu-Yung; Luo, Huei-Ru; Wu, Szu-Pei; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) catalyzes the conversion of oxaloacetate and malate by using the NAD/NADH coenzyme system. The system is used as a conjugate for enzyme immunoassays of a wide variety of compounds, such as illegal drugs, drugs used in therapeutic applications and hormones. We elucidated the biochemical and structural features of MDH from Thermus thermophilus (TtMDH) for use in various biotechnological applications. The biochemical characterization of recombinant TtMDH revealed greatly increased activity above 60 °C and specific activity of about 2,600 U/mg with optimal temperature of 90 °C. Analysis of crystal structures of apo and NAD-bound forms of TtMDH revealed a slight movement of the binding loop and few structural elements around the co-substrate binding packet in the presence of NAD. The overall structures did not change much and retained all related positions, which agrees with the CD analyses. Further molecular dynamics (MD) simulation at higher temperatures were used to reconstruct structures from the crystal structure of TtMDH. Interestingly, at the simulated structure of 353 K, a large change occurred around the active site such that with increasing temperature, a mobile loop was closed to co-substrate binding region. From biochemical characterization, structural comparison and MD simulations, the thermal-induced conformational change of the co-substrate binding loop of TtMDH may contribute to the essential movement of the enzyme for admitting NAD and may benefit the enzyme's activity.

  17. Single-cell Hi-C reveals cell-to-cell variability in chromosome structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagano, Takashi; Lubling, Yaniv; Stevens, Tim J; Schoenfelder, Stefan; Yaffe, Eitan; Dean, Wendy; Laue, Ernest D; Tanay, Amos; Fraser, Peter

    2013-10-03

    Large-scale chromosome structure and spatial nuclear arrangement have been linked to control of gene expression and DNA replication and repair. Genomic techniques based on chromosome conformation capture (3C) assess contacts for millions of loci simultaneously, but do so by averaging chromosome conformations from millions of nuclei. Here we introduce single-cell Hi-C, combined with genome-wide statistical analysis and structural modelling of single-copy X chromosomes, to show that individual chromosomes maintain domain organization at the megabase scale, but show variable cell-to-cell chromosome structures at larger scales. Despite this structural stochasticity, localization of active gene domains to boundaries of chromosome territories is a hallmark of chromosomal conformation. Single-cell Hi-C data bridge current gaps between genomics and microscopy studies of chromosomes, demonstrating how modular organization underlies dynamic chromosome structure, and how this structure is probabilistically linked with genome activity patterns.

  18. Single cell Hi-C reveals cell-to-cell variability in chromosome structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenfelder, Stefan; Yaffe, Eitan; Dean, Wendy; Laue, Ernest D.; Tanay, Amos; Fraser, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale chromosome structure and spatial nuclear arrangement have been linked to control of gene expression and DNA replication and repair. Genomic techniques based on chromosome conformation capture assess contacts for millions of loci simultaneously, but do so by averaging chromosome conformations from millions of nuclei. Here we introduce single cell Hi-C, combined with genome-wide statistical analysis and structural modeling of single copy X chromosomes, to show that individual chromosomes maintain domain organisation at the megabase scale, but show variable cell-to-cell chromosome territory structures at larger scales. Despite this structural stochasticity, localisation of active gene domains to boundaries of territories is a hallmark of chromosomal conformation. Single cell Hi-C data bridge current gaps between genomics and microscopy studies of chromosomes, demonstrating how modular organisation underlies dynamic chromosome structure, and how this structure is probabilistically linked with genome activity patterns. PMID:24067610

  19. Structural and Biophysical Analysis of BST-2/Tetherin Ectodomains Reveals an Evolutionary Conserved Design to Inhibit Virus Release

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swiecki, M.; Allaire, M.; Scheaffer, S.; Fremont, D.H.; et.al.

    2011-01-28

    BST-2/tetherin is a host antiviral molecule that functions to potently inhibit the release of enveloped viruses from infected cells. In return, viruses have evolved antagonists to this activity. BST-2 traps budding virions by using two separate membrane-anchoring regions that simultaneously incorporate into the host and viral membranes. Here, we detailed the structural and biophysical properties of the full-length BST-2 ectodomain, which spans the two membrane anchors. The 1.6-{angstrom} crystal structure of the complete mouse BST-2 ectodomain reveals an {approx}145-{angstrom} parallel dimer in an extended {alpha}-helix conformation that predominantly forms a coiled coil bridged by three intermolecular disulfides that are required for stability. Sequence analysis in the context of the structure revealed an evolutionarily conserved design that destabilizes the coiled coil, resulting in a labile superstructure, as evidenced by solution x-ray scattering displaying bent conformations spanning 150 and 180 {angstrom} for the mouse and human BST-2 ectodomains, respectively. Additionally, crystal packing analysis revealed possible curvature-sensing tetrameric structures that may aid in proper placement of BST-2 during the genesis of viral progeny. Overall, this extended coiled-coil structure with inherent plasticity is undoubtedly necessary to accommodate the dynamics of viral budding while ensuring separation of the anchors.

  20. Structural and biophysical analysis of BST-2/tetherin ectodomains reveals an evolutionary conserved design to inhibit virus release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swiecki, Melissa; Scheaffer, Suzanne M; Allaire, Marc; Fremont, Daved H; Colonna, Marco; Brett, Tom J

    2011-01-28

    BST-2/tetherin is a host antiviral molecule that functions to potently inhibit the release of enveloped viruses from infected cells. In return, viruses have evolved antagonists to this activity. BST-2 traps budding virions by using two separate membrane-anchoring regions that simultaneously incorporate into the host and viral membranes. Here, we detailed the structural and biophysical properties of the full-length BST-2 ectodomain, which spans the two membrane anchors. The 1.6-Å crystal structure of the complete mouse BST-2 ectodomain reveals an ∼145-Å parallel dimer in an extended α-helix conformation that predominantly forms a coiled coil bridged by three intermolecular disulfides that are required for stability. Sequence analysis in the context of the structure revealed an evolutionarily conserved design that destabilizes the coiled coil, resulting in a labile superstructure, as evidenced by solution x-ray scattering displaying bent conformations spanning 150 and 180 Å for the mouse and human BST-2 ectodomains, respectively. Additionally, crystal packing analysis revealed possible curvature-sensing tetrameric structures that may aid in proper placement of BST-2 during the genesis of viral progeny. Overall, this extended coiled-coil structure with inherent plasticity is undoubtedly necessary to accommodate the dynamics of viral budding while ensuring separation of the anchors.

  1. Secondary Structure across the Bacterial Transcriptome Reveals Versatile Roles in mRNA Regulation and Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Del Campo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Messenger RNA acts as an informational molecule between DNA and translating ribosomes. Emerging evidence places mRNA in central cellular processes beyond its major function as informational entity. Although individual examples show that specific structural features of mRNA regulate translation and transcript stability, their role and function throughout the bacterial transcriptome remains unknown. Combining three sequencing approaches to provide a high resolution view of global mRNA secondary structure, translation efficiency and mRNA abundance, we unraveled structural features in E. coli mRNA with implications in translation and mRNA degradation. A poorly structured site upstream of the coding sequence serves as an additional unspecific binding site of the ribosomes and the degree of its secondary structure propensity negatively correlates with gene expression. Secondary structures within coding sequences are highly dynamic and influence translation only within a very small subset of positions. A secondary structure upstream of the stop codon is enriched in genes terminated by UAA codon with likely implications in translation termination. The global analysis further substantiates a common recognition signature of RNase E to initiate endonucleolytic cleavage. This work determines for the first time the E. coli RNA structurome, highlighting the contribution of mRNA secondary structure as a direct effector of a variety of processes, including translation and mRNA degradation.

  2. Secondary Structure across the Bacterial Transcriptome Reveals Versatile Roles in mRNA Regulation and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Campo, Cristian; Bartholomäus, Alexander; Fedyunin, Ivan; Ignatova, Zoya

    2015-10-01

    Messenger RNA acts as an informational molecule between DNA and translating ribosomes. Emerging evidence places mRNA in central cellular processes beyond its major function as informational entity. Although individual examples show that specific structural features of mRNA regulate translation and transcript stability, their role and function throughout the bacterial transcriptome remains unknown. Combining three sequencing approaches to provide a high resolution view of global mRNA secondary structure, translation efficiency and mRNA abundance, we unraveled structural features in E. coli mRNA with implications in translation and mRNA degradation. A poorly structured site upstream of the coding sequence serves as an additional unspecific binding site of the ribosomes and the degree of its secondary structure propensity negatively correlates with gene expression. Secondary structures within coding sequences are highly dynamic and influence translation only within a very small subset of positions. A secondary structure upstream of the stop codon is enriched in genes terminated by UAA codon with likely implications in translation termination. The global analysis further substantiates a common recognition signature of RNase E to initiate endonucleolytic cleavage. This work determines for the first time the E. coli RNA structurome, highlighting the contribution of mRNA secondary structure as a direct effector of a variety of processes, including translation and mRNA degradation.

  3. Full-length RNA structure prediction of the HIV-1 genome reveals a conserved core domain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sukosd, Zsuzsanna; Andersen, Ebbe S.; Seemann, Stefan E.

    2015-01-01

    protein-coding regions the COS is supported by a particular high frequency of compensatory base changes, suggesting functional importance for this element. This new structural element potentially organizes the whole genome into three major domains protruding from a conserved core structure with potential...

  4. Iron Isotope Fractionations Reveal a Finite Bioavailable Fe Pool for Structural Fe(III) Reduction in Nontronite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Bingjie; Liu, Kai; Wu, Lingling; Li, Weiqiang; Smeaton, Christina M; Beard, Brian L; Johnson, Clark M; Roden, Eric E; Van Cappellen, Philippe

    2016-08-16

    We report on stable Fe isotope fractionation during microbial and chemical reduction of structural Fe(III) in nontronite NAu-1. (56)Fe/(54)Fe fractionation factors between aqueous Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) ranged from -1.2 to +0.8‰. Microbial (Shewanella oneidensis and Geobacter sulfurreducens) and chemical (dithionite) reduction experiments revealed a two-stage process. Stage 1 was characterized by rapid reduction of a finite Fe(III) pool along the edges of the clay particles, accompanied by a limited release to solution of Fe(II), which partially adsorbed onto basal planes. Stable Fe isotope compositions revealed that electron transfer and atom exchange (ETAE) occurred between edge-bound Fe(II) and octahedral (structural) Fe(III) within the clay lattice, as well as between aqueous Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) via a transient sorbed phase. The isotopic fractionation factors decreased with increasing extent of reduction as a result of the depletion of the finite bioavailable Fe(III) pool. During stage 2, microbial reduction was inhibited while chemical reduction continued. However, further ETAE between aqueous Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) was not observed. Our results imply that the pool of bioavailable Fe(III) is restricted to structural Fe sites located near the edges of the clay particles. Blockage of ETAE distinguishes Fe(III) reduction of layered clay minerals from that of Fe oxyhydroxides, where accumulation of structural Fe(II) is much more limited.

  5. Surface structure of CdSe Nanorods revealed by combined X-rayabsorption fine structure measurements and ab-initio calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aruguete, Deborah A.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Li, Liang-shi; Williamson, Andrew; Fakra, Sirine; Gygi, Francois; Galli, Giulia; Alivisatos, A. Paul

    2006-01-27

    We report orientation-specific, surface-sensitive structural characterization of colloidal CdSe nanorods with extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and ab-initio density functional theory calculations. Our measurements of crystallographically-aligned CdSe nanorods show that they have reconstructed Cd-rich surfaces. They exhibit orientation-dependent changes in interatomic distances which are qualitatively reproduced by our calculations. These calculations reveal that the measured interatomic distance anisotropy originates from the nanorod surface.

  6. Atomic-scale structure of dislocations revealed by scanning tunneling microscopy and molecular dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Jesper; Morgenstern, K.; Schiøtz, Jakob;

    2002-01-01

    , the simulations can be used to determine dislocation structure and orientation in the near-surface region. In a similar way, the subsurface structure of other extended defects can be studied. The simulations show dislocations to reorient the partials in the surface region leading to an increased splitting width......The intersection between dislocations and a Ag(111) surface has been studied using an interplay of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and molecular dynamics. Whereas the STM provides atomically resolved information about the surface structure and Burgers vectors of the dislocations...

  7. Rhamnogalacturonan lyase reveals a unique three-domain modular structure for polysaccharide lyase family 4

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McDonough, Michael A.; Kadirvelraj, Renuka; Harris, Pernille

    2004-01-01

    Rhamnogalacturonan lyase (RG-lyase) specifically recognizes and cleaves alpha-1,4 glycosidic bonds between L-rhamnose and D-galacturonic acids in the backbone of rhamno galacturonan-I, a major component of the plant cell wall polysaccharide, pectin. The three-dimensional structure of RG-lyase fro...... structural homology to non-catalytic domains from other carbohydrate active enzymes.......Rhamnogalacturonan lyase (RG-lyase) specifically recognizes and cleaves alpha-1,4 glycosidic bonds between L-rhamnose and D-galacturonic acids in the backbone of rhamno galacturonan-I, a major component of the plant cell wall polysaccharide, pectin. The three-dimensional structure of RG-lyase from...... Aspergillus aculeatus has been determined to 1.5 Angstrom resolution representing the first known structure from polysaccharide lyase family 4 and of an enzyme with this catalytic specificity. The 508-amino acid polypeptide displays a unique arrangement of three distinct modular domains. Each domain shows...

  8. Crystal Structure of Protein Reveals Target for Drugs Against Lethal MERS Virus | FNLCR Staging

    Science.gov (United States)

    A research team of scientists from the National Cancer Institute and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research recently identified the structure of a key protein of the virus that causes the highly lethal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

  9. Krebs cycle metabolon: structural evidence of substrate channeling revealed by cross-linking and mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Fei; Minteer, Shelley

    2015-02-02

    It has been hypothesized that the high metabolic flux in the mitochondria is due to the self-assembly of enzyme supercomplexes (called metabolons) that channel substrates from one enzyme to another, but there has been no experimental confirmation of this structure or the channeling. A structural investigation of enzyme organization within the Krebs cycle metabolon was accomplished by in vivo cross-linking and mass spectrometry. Eight Krebs cycle enzyme components were isolated upon chemical fixation, and interfacial residues between mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase, and aconitase were identified. Using constraint protein docking, a low-resolution structure for the three-enzyme complex was achieved, as well as the two-fold symmetric octamer. Surface analysis showed formation of electrostatic channeling upon protein-protein association, which is the first structural evidence of substrate channeling in the Krebs cycle metabolon.

  10. Comparative analyses of reproductive structures in harvestmen (opiliones) reveal multiple transitions from courtship to precopulatory antagonism

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Burns, Mercedes M; Hedin, Marshal; Shultz, Jeffrey W

    2013-01-01

    ... in species-rich clades. Here we examine evolution of reproductive structures in the leiobunine harvestmen or "daddy long-legs" of eastern North America, a monophyletic group that includes species in which males court...

  11. The structure of a conserved piezo channel domain reveals a topologically distinct β sandwich fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamajaya, Aron; Kaiser, Jens T; Lee, Jonas; Reid, Michelle; Rees, Douglas C

    2014-10-07

    Piezo has recently been identified as a family of eukaryotic mechanosensitive channels composed of subunits containing over 2,000 amino acids, without recognizable sequence similarity to other channels. Here, we present the crystal structure of a large, conserved extramembrane domain located just before the last predicted transmembrane helix of C. elegans PIEZO, which adopts a topologically distinct β sandwich fold. The structure was also determined of a point mutation located on a conserved surface at the position equivalent to the human PIEZO1 mutation found in dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis patients (M2225R). While the point mutation does not change the overall domain structure, it does alter the surface electrostatic potential that may perturb interactions with a yet-to-be-identified ligand or protein. The lack of structural similarity between this domain and any previously characterized fold, including those of eukaryotic and bacterial channels, highlights the distinctive nature of the Piezo family of eukaryotic mechanosensitive channels.

  12. A proton wire and water channel revealed in the crystal structure of isatin hydrolase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerregaard-Andersen, Kaare; Sommer, Theis; Jensen, Jan Kristian;

    2014-01-01

    The high resolution crystal structures of isatin hydrolase from Labrenzia aggregata in the apo and the product state, are described. These are the first structures of a functionally characterized metal-dependent hydrolase of this fold. Isatin hydrolase converts isatin to isatinate and belongs to ...... of orthologous genes encoding isatin hydrolases within the prokaryotic kingdom. The isatin hydrolase orthologues found in human gut bacteria raise the question as to whether the indole-3-acetic acid degradation pathway is present in human gut flora....

  13. First structure of full-length mammalian phenylalanine hydroxylase reveals the architecture of an autoinhibited tetramer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arturo, Emilia C; Gupta, Kushol; Héroux, Annie; Stith, Linda; Cross, Penelope J; Parker, Emily J; Loll, Patrick J; Jaffe, Eileen K

    2016-03-01

    Improved understanding of the relationship among structure, dynamics, and function for the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) can lead to needed new therapies for phenylketonuria, the most common inborn error of amino acid metabolism. PAH is a multidomain homo-multimeric protein whose conformation and multimerization properties respond to allosteric activation by the substrate phenylalanine (Phe); the allosteric regulation is necessary to maintain Phe below neurotoxic levels. A recently introduced model for allosteric regulation of PAH involves major domain motions and architecturally distinct PAH tetramers [Jaffe EK, Stith L, Lawrence SH, Andrake M, Dunbrack RL, Jr (2013) Arch Biochem Biophys 530(2):73-82]. Herein, we present, to our knowledge, the first X-ray crystal structure for a full-length mammalian (rat) PAH in an autoinhibited conformation. Chromatographic isolation of a monodisperse tetrameric PAH, in the absence of Phe, facilitated determination of the 2.9 Å crystal structure. The structure of full-length PAH supersedes a composite homology model that had been used extensively to rationalize phenylketonuria genotype-phenotype relationships. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) confirms that this tetramer, which dominates in the absence of Phe, is different from a Phe-stabilized allosterically activated PAH tetramer. The lack of structural detail for activated PAH remains a barrier to complete understanding of phenylketonuria genotype-phenotype relationships. Nevertheless, the use of SAXS and X-ray crystallography together to inspect PAH structure provides, to our knowledge, the first complete view of the enzyme in a tetrameric form that was not possible with prior partial crystal structures, and facilitates interpretation of a wealth of biochemical and structural data that was hitherto impossible to evaluate.

  14. Comparative Analyses of Reproductive Structures in Harvestmen (Opiliones) Reveal Multiple Transitions from Courtship to Precopulatory Antagonism

    OpenAIRE

    Mercedes M Burns; Hedin,Marshal; Jeffrey W Shultz

    2013-01-01

    Explaining the rapid, species-specific diversification of reproductive structures and behaviors is a long-standing goal of evolutionary biology, with recent research tending to attribute reproductive phenotypes to the evolutionary mechanisms of female mate choice or intersexual conflict. Progress in understanding these and other possible mechanisms depends, in part, on reconstructing the direction, frequency and relative timing of phenotypic evolution of male and female structures in species-...

  15. E. coli dihydroorotate dehydrogenase reveals structural and functional distinctions between different classes of dihydroorotate dehydrogenases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørager, Sofie; Jensen, Kaj Frank; Björnberg, Olof

    2002-01-01

    . The structure of class 2 E. coli DHOD, determined by MAD phasing, showed that the N-terminal extension forms a separate domain. The catalytic serine residue has an environment differing from the equivalent cysteine in class 1 DHODs. Significant differences between the two classes of DHODs were identified...... by comparison of the E. coli DHOD with the other known DHOD structures, and differences with the class 2 human DHOD explain the variation in their inhibitors....

  16. Microsatellite analyses reveal fine-scale genetic structure in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredsted, T; Pertoldi, C; Schierup, M H; Kappeler, P M

    2005-07-01

    Information on genetic structure can be used to complement direct inferences on social systems and behaviour. We studied the genetic structure of the solitary grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a small, nocturnal primate endemic to western Madagascar, with the aim of getting further insight on its breeding structure. Tissue samples from 167 grey mouse lemurs in an area covering 12.3 km2 in Kirindy Forest were obtained from trapping. The capture data indicated a noncontinuous distribution of individuals in the study area. Using 10 microsatellite markers, significant genetic differentiation in the study area was demonstrated and dispersal was found to be significantly male biased. Furthermore, we observed an overall excess of homozygotes in the total population (F(IT) = 0.131), which we interpret as caused by fine-scale structure with breeding occurring in small units. Evidence for a clumped distribution of identical homozygotes was found, supporting the notion that dispersal distance for breeding was shorter than that for foraging, i.e. the breeding neighbourhood size is smaller than the foraging neighbourhood size. In conclusion, we found a more complex population structure than what has been previously reported in studies performed on smaller spatial scales. The noncontinuous distribution of individuals and the effects of social variables on the genetic structure have implications for the interpretation of social organization and the planning of conservation activities that may apply to other solitary and endangered mammals as well.

  17. High-speed atomic force microscopy reveals structural dynamics of amyloid β1-42 aggregates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe-Nakayama, Takahiro; Ono, Kenjiro; Itami, Masahiro; Takahashi, Ryoichi; Teplow, David B; Yamada, Masahito

    2016-05-24

    Aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins into insoluble amyloid fibrils is implicated in various neurodegenerative diseases. This process involves protein assembly into oligomeric intermediates and fibrils with highly polymorphic molecular structures. These structural differences may be responsible for different disease presentations. For this reason, elucidation of the structural features and assembly kinetics of amyloidogenic proteins has been an area of intense study. We report here the results of high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) studies of fibril formation and elongation by the 42-residue form of the amyloid β-protein (Aβ1-42), a key pathogenetic agent of Alzheimer's disease. Our data demonstrate two different growth modes of Aβ1-42, one producing straight fibrils and the other producing spiral fibrils. Each mode depends on initial fibril nucleus structure, but switching from one growth mode to another was occasionally observed, suggesting that fibril end structure fluctuated between the two growth modes. This switching phenomenon was affected by buffer salt composition. Our findings indicate that polymorphism in fibril structure can occur after fibril nucleation and is affected by relatively modest changes in environmental conditions.

  18. Structure of chitinase D from Serratia proteamaculans reveals the structural basis of its dual action of hydrolysis and transglycosylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhuprakash, Jogi; Singh, Avinash; Kumar, Sanjit; Sinha, Mau; Kaur, Punit; Sharma, Sujata; Podile, Appa R; Singh, Tej P

    2013-01-01

    Chitinases are known to hydrolyze chitin polymers into smaller chitooligosaccharides. Chitinase from bacterium Serratia proteamaculans (SpChiD) is found to exhibit both hydrolysis and transglycosylation activities. SpChiD belongs to family 18 of glycosyl hydrolases (GH-18). The recombinant SpChiD was crystallized and its three-dimensional structure was determined at 1.49 Å resolution. The structure was refined to an R-factor of 16.2%. SpChiD consists of 406 amino acid residues. The polypeptide chain of SpChiD adopts a (β/α)8 triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) barrel structure. SpChiD contains three acidic residues, Asp149, Asp151 and Glu153 as part of its catalytic scheme. While both Asp149 and Glu153 adopt single conformations, Asp151 is observed in two conformations. The substrate binding cleft is partially obstructed by a protruding loop, Asn30 - Asp42 causing a considerable reduction in the number of available subsites in the substrate binding site. The positioning of loop, Asn30 - Asp42 appears to be responsible for the transglycosylation activity. The structure determination indicated the presence of sulfone Met89 (SMet89). The sulfone methionine residue is located on the surface of the protein at a site where extra domain is attached in other chitinases. This is the first structure of a single domain chitinase with hydrolytic and transglycosylation activities. PMID:24380021

  19. Crystal structure of a PCP/Sfp complex reveals the structural basis for carrier protein posttranslational modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufar, Peter; Rahighi, Simin; Kraas, Femke I; Kirchner, Donata K; Löhr, Frank; Henrich, Erik; Köpke, Jürgen; Dikic, Ivan; Güntert, Peter; Marahiel, Mohamed A; Dötsch, Volker

    2014-04-24

    Phosphopantetheine transferases represent a class of enzymes found throughout all forms of life. From a structural point of view, they are subdivided into three groups, with transferases from group II being the most widespread. They are required for the posttranslational modification of carrier proteins involved in diverse metabolic pathways. We determined the crystal structure of the group II phosphopantetheine transferase Sfp from Bacillus in complex with a substrate carrier protein in the presence of coenzyme A and magnesium, and observed two protein-protein interaction sites. Mutational analysis showed that only the hydrophobic contacts between the carrier protein's second helix and the C-terminal domain of Sfp are essential for their productive interaction. Comparison with a similar structure of a complex of human proteins suggests that the mode of interaction is highly conserved in all domains of life.

  20. Subpopulation genetic structure of a plant panmictic population of Castanea sequinii as revealed by microsatellite markers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Ying; KANG Ming; HUANG Hongwen

    2007-01-01

    Castanea squinii Dode,an endemic tree widely distributed in China,plays an important role both in chestnut breeding and forest ecosystem function.The spatial genetic structure within and among populations is an important part of the evolutionary and ecological genetic dynamics of natural populations,and can provide insights into effective conservation of genetic resources.In the present study,the spatial genetic structure of a panmictic natural population of C.sequinii in the Dabie Mountain region was investigated using microsatellite markers.Nine prescreened microsatellite loci generated 29-33 alleles each,and were used for spatial autocorrelation analysis.Based on Moran's I coefficient,a panmictic population of C.sequinii in the Dabie Mountain region was found to be lacking a spatial genetic structure.These results suggest that a high pollen-mediated gene flow among subpopulations counteract genetic drift and/or genetic differentiation and plays an important role in maintaining a random and panmictic population structure in C.sequinii populations.Further,a spatial genetic structure was detected in each subpopulation's scale (0.228 km),with all three subpopulations showing significant fine-scale structure.The genetic variation was found to be nonrandomly distributed within 61 m in each subpopulation (Moran's I positive values).Although Moran's I values varied among the different subpopulations,Moran's I in all the three subpopulations reached the expected values with an increase in distances,suggesting a generally patchy distribution in the subpopulations.The fine-scale structure seems to reflect restricted seed dispersal and microenvironment selection in C.sequinii.These results have important implications for understanding the evolutionary history and ecological process of the natural population of C.sequinii and provide baseline data for formulating a conservation strategy of Castanea species.

  1. Anatomy of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure revealed by seismic imaging, Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catchings, R.D.; Powars, D.S.; Gohn, G.S.; Horton, J.W.; Goldman, M.R.; Hole, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    A 30-km-long, radial seismic reflection and refraction survey completed across the northern part of the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure (CBIS) on the Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia, USA, confirms that the CBIS is a complex central-peak crater. We used a tomographic P wave velocity model and low-fold reflection images, constrained by data from two deep boreholes located on the profile, to interpret the structure and composition of the upper 5 km of crust. The seismic images exhibit well-defined structural features, including (with increasing radial distance) a collapsed central uplift, a breccia-filled moat, and a collapsed transient-crater margin (which collectively constitute a ???40-km-wide collapsed transient crater), and a shallowly deformed annular trough. These seismic images are the first to resolve the deep structure of the crater (>1 km) and the boundaries between the central uplift, moat, and annular trough. Several distinct seismic signatures distinguish breccia units from each other and from more coherent crystalline rocks below the central uplift, moat, and annular trough. Within the moat, breccia extends to a minimum depth of 1.5 km or a maximum of 3.5 km, depending upon the interpretation of the deepest layered materials. The images show ???350 to 500 m of postimpact sediments above the impactites. The imaged structure of the CBIS indicates a complex sequence of event during the cratering process that will provide new constraints for numerical modeling. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. Low Resolution Structure of a Bacterial SLC26 Transporter Reveals Dimeric Stoichiometry and Mobile Intracellular Domains*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compton, Emma L. R.; Karinou, Eleni; Naismith, James H.; Gabel, Frank; Javelle, Arnaud

    2011-01-01

    The SLC26/SulP (solute carrier/sulfate transporter) proteins are a superfamily of anion transporters conserved from bacteria to man, of which four have been identified in human diseases. Proteins within the SLC26/SulP family exhibit a wide variety of functions, transporting anions from halides to carboxylic acids. The proteins comprise a transmembrane domain containing between 10–12 transmembrane helices followed a by C-terminal cytoplasmic sulfate transporter and anti-sigma factor antagonist (STAS) domain. These proteins are expected to undergo conformational changes during the transport cycle; however, structural information for this family remains sparse, particularly for the full-length proteins. To address this issue, we conducted an expression and detergent screen on bacterial Slc26 proteins. The screen identified a Yersinia enterocolitica Slc26A protein as the ideal candidate for further structural studies as it can be purified to homogeneity. Partial proteolysis, co-purification, and analytical size exclusion chromatography demonstrate that the protein purifies as stable oligomers. Using small angle neutron scattering combined with contrast variation, we have determined the first low resolution structure of a bacterial Slc26 protein without spectral contribution from the detergent. The structure confirms that the protein forms a dimer stabilized via its transmembrane core; the cytoplasmic STAS domain projects away from the transmembrane domain and is not involved in dimerization. Supported by additional biochemical data, the structure suggests that large movements of the STAS domain underlie the conformational changes that occur during transport. PMID:21659513

  3. X-Ray Structures of Native HIV-1 Capsid Protein Reveal Conformational Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gres, Anna T.; Kirby, Karen A.; KewalRamani, Vineet N.; Tanner, John J.; Pornillos, Owen; Sarafianos, Stefan G.

    2015-01-01

    The detailed molecular interactions between Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) capsid protein (CA) hexamers have been elusive in the context of a native protein. We report crystal structures describing novel interactions between CA monomers related by 6-fold symmetry within a hexamer (intra-hexamer) and by 3-fold and 2-fold symmetry between neighboring hexamers (inter-hexamer). These structures help elucidate how CA builds a hexagonal lattice, the foundation of the mature capsid. Lattice structure depends on an adaptable hydration layer that modulates interactions among CA molecules. Disruption of this layer by crystal dehydration treatment alters inter-hexamer interfaces and condenses CA packing, highlighting an inherent structural variability. Capsid stability changes imparted by high concentrations of CA-targeting antiviral PF74 can be explained by variations at inter-hexamer interfaces remote to the ligand binding site. Inherent structural plasticity, hydration layer rearrangement, and effector molecule binding may perturb capsid uncoating or assembly and have functional implications for the retroviral life cycle. PMID:26044298

  4. The structure of a thermostable mutant of pro-papain reveals its activation mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Sumana; Choudhury, Debi; Aich, Pulakesh; Dattagupta, Jiban K; Biswas, Sampa

    2012-12-01

    Papain is the archetype of a broad class of cysteine proteases (clan C1A) that contain a pro-peptide in the zymogen form which is required for correct folding and spatio-temporal regulation of proteolytic activity in the initial stages after expression. This study reports the X-ray structure of the zymogen of a thermostable mutant of papain at 2.6 Å resolution. The overall structure, in particular that of the mature part of the protease, is similar to those of other members of the family. The structure provides an explanation for the molecular basis of the maintenance of latency of the proteolytic activity of the zymogen by its pro-segment at neutral pH. The structural analysis, together with biochemical and biophysical studies, demonstrated that the pro-segment of the zymogen undergoes a rearrangement in the form of a structural loosening at acidic pH which triggers the proteolytic activation cascade. This study further explains the bimolecular stepwise autocatalytic activation mechanism by limited proteolysis of the zymogen of papain at the molecular level. The possible factors responsible for the higher thermal stability of the papain mutant have also been analyzed.

  5. How best to preserve and reveal the structural intricacies of cartilaginous tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunziker, Ernst B; Lippuner, Kurt; Shintani, Nahoko

    2014-10-01

    No single processing technique is capable of optimally preserving each and all of the structural entities of cartilaginous tissue. Hence, the choice of methodology must necessarily be governed by the nature of the component that is targeted for analysis, for example, fibrillar collagens or proteoglycans within the extracellular matrix, or the chondrocytes themselves. This article affords an insight into the pitfalls that are to be encountered when implementing the available techniques and how best to circumvent them. Adult articular cartilage is taken as a representative pars pro toto of the different bodily types. In mammals, this layer of tissue is a component of the synovial joints, wherein it fulfills crucial and diverse biomechanical functions. The biomechanical functions of articular cartilage have their structural and molecular correlates. During the natural course of postnatal development and after the onset of pathological disease processes, such as osteoarthritis, the tissue undergoes structural changes which are intimately reflected in biomechanical modulations. The fine structural intricacies that subserve the changes in tissue function can be accurately assessed only if they are faithfully preserved at the molecular level. For this reason, a careful consideration of the tissue-processing technique is indispensable. Since, as aforementioned, no single methodological tool is capable of optimally preserving all constituents, the approach must be pre-selected with a targeted structure in view. Guidance in this choice is offered.

  6. Structure of a prokaryotic fumarate transporter reveals the architecture of the SLC26 family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geertsma, Eric R; Chang, Yung-Ning; Shaik, Farooque R; Neldner, Yvonne; Pardon, Els; Steyaert, Jan; Dutzler, Raimund

    2015-10-01

    The SLC26 family of membrane proteins combines a variety of functions within a conserved molecular scaffold. Its members, besides coupled anion transporters and channels, include the motor protein Prestin, which confers electromotility to cochlear outer hair cells. To gain insight into the architecture of this protein family, we characterized the structure and function of SLC26Dg, a facilitator of proton-coupled fumarate symport, from the bacterium Deinococcus geothermalis. Its modular structure combines a transmembrane unit and a cytoplasmic STAS domain. The membrane-inserted domain consists of two intertwined inverted repeats of seven transmembrane segments each and resembles the fold of the unrelated transporter UraA. It shows an inward-facing, ligand-free conformation with a potential substrate-binding site at the interface between two helix termini at the center of the membrane. This structure defines the common framework for the diverse functional behavior of the SLC26 family.

  7. Solution NMR of MPS-1 reveals a random coil cytosolic domain structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Pan; Shi, Pan; Lai, Chaohua; Li, Juan; Zheng, Yuanyuan; Xiong, Ying; Zhang, Longhua; Tian, Changlin

    2014-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans MPS1 is a single transmembrane helical auxiliary subunit that co-localizes with the voltage-gated potassium channel KVS1 in the nematode nervous system. MPS-1 shares high homology with KCNE (potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily E member) auxiliary subunits, and its cytosolic domain was reported to have a serine/threonine kinase activity that modulates KVS1 channel function via phosphorylation. In this study, NMR spectroscopy indicated that the full length and truncated MPS-1 cytosolic domain (134-256) in the presence or absence of n-dodecylphosphocholine detergent micelles adopted a highly flexible random coil secondary structure. In contrast, protein kinases usually adopt a stable folded conformation in order to implement substrate recognition and phosphoryl transfer. The highly flexible random coil secondary structure suggests that MPS-1 in the free state is unstructured but may require a substrate or binding partner to adopt stable structure required for serine/threonine kinase activity.

  8. The structure of bovine complement component 3 reveals the basis for thioester function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredslund, Folmer; Jenner, Lasse Bohl; Husted, Lise Bjerre;

    2006-01-01

    The third component of complement (C3) is a 190 kDa glycoprotein essential for eliciting the complement response. The protein consists of two polypeptide chains (α and β) held together with a single disulfide bridge. The β-chain is made up of six MG domains of which one of which is shared...... but not in C5) is cleaved during complement activation. This mediates covalent attachment of the activated C3b to immune complexes and invading microorganisms hereby opsonising the target. We present the structure of bovine C3 determined at 3 Å resolution. The structure shows that the ester is deeply buried...... activation. This rearrangement is proposed to be the basis for the high reactivity of the thioester group. A strictly conserved glutamate is suggested to function catalytically in thioester proteins. Structure based design of inhibitors of C3 activation may target a conserved pocket between the α- and the β...

  9. Crystal structure of an invertebrate cytolysin pore reveals unique properties and mechanism of assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podobnik, Marjetka; Savory, Peter; Rojko, Nejc; Kisovec, Matic; Wood, Neil; Hambley, Richard; Pugh, Jonathan; Wallace, E. Jayne; McNeill, Luke; Bruce, Mark; Liko, Idlir; Allison, Timothy M.; Mehmood, Shahid; Yilmaz, Neval; Kobayashi, Toshihide; Gilbert, Robert J. C.; Robinson, Carol V.; Jayasinghe, Lakmal; Anderluh, Gregor

    2016-05-01

    The invertebrate cytolysin lysenin is a member of the aerolysin family of pore-forming toxins that includes many representatives from pathogenic bacteria. Here we report the crystal structure of the lysenin pore and provide insights into its assembly mechanism. The lysenin pore is assembled from nine monomers via dramatic reorganization of almost half of the monomeric subunit structure leading to a β-barrel pore ~10 nm long and 1.6-2.5 nm wide. The lysenin pore is devoid of additional luminal compartments as commonly found in other toxin pores. Mutagenic analysis and atomic force microscopy imaging, together with these structural insights, suggest a mechanism for pore assembly for lysenin. These insights are relevant to the understanding of pore formation by other aerolysin-like pore-forming toxins, which often represent crucial virulence factors in bacteria.

  10. Structural Isomerization of the Gas Phase 2-NORBORNYL Cation Revealed with Infrared Spectroscopy and Computational Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauney, Daniel; Mosley, Jonathan; Duncan, Michael A.

    2014-06-01

    The non-classical structure of the 2-norborny cation (C_7H11+) which was at the center of "the most heated chemical controversy of our time" has been observed in the condensed phase and recently using X-ray crystallography. However, no gas phase vibrational spectrum has been collected. The C_7H11+ cation is produced via H_3+ protonation of norbornene by pulsed discharge in a supersonic expansion of H_2/Ar. Ions are mass-selected and probed using infrared photodissociation spectroscopy. Due to high exothermicity, protonation via H_3+ leads to a structural isomerization to the global minimum structure 1,3-dimethylcyclopentenyl (DMCP+). Experiments are currently being conducted to find softer protonation techniques that could lead to the authentic 2-norbornyl cation. Schleyer,P.v.R. et. al.; Stable Carbocation Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons,Inc.; New York, 1997, Chapter 2

  11. MHD simulations reveal crucial differences between solar and very-cool star magnetic structures

    CERN Document Server

    Beeck, Benjamin; Reiners, Ansgar

    2011-01-01

    We carried out 3D radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the convective and magnetic structure in the surface layers (uppermost part of the convection zone and photosphere) of main-sequence stars of spectral types F3 to M2. The simulation results were analyzed in terms of sizes and properties of the convection cells (granules) and magnetic flux concentrations as well as velocity, pressure, density, and temperature profiles. Our numerical simulations show for the first time a qualitative difference in the magneto-convection between solar-like stars and M dwarfs. Owing to higher surface gravity, lower opacity (resulting in higher density at optical depth unity), and more stable downflows, small-scale magnetic structures concentrate into pore-like configurations of reduced intensity. This implies that in very cool stars magnetic surface structures like plage regions and starspots significantly differ from the solar example. Such a difference would have major impact on the interpretation of Doppler imaging ...

  12. The structural analysis of shark IgNAR antibodies reveals evolutionary principles of immunoglobulins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feige, Matthias J; Gräwert, Melissa A; Marcinowski, Moritz; Hennig, Janosch; Behnke, Julia; Ausländer, David; Herold, Eva M; Peschek, Jirka; Castro, Caitlin D; Flajnik, Martin; Hendershot, Linda M; Sattler, Michael; Groll, Michael; Buchner, Johannes

    2014-06-03

    Sharks and other cartilaginous fish are the phylogenetically oldest living organisms that rely on antibodies as part of their adaptive immune system. They produce the immunoglobulin new antigen receptor (IgNAR), a homodimeric heavy chain-only antibody, as a major part of their humoral adaptive immune response. Here, we report the atomic resolution structure of the IgNAR constant domains and a structural model of this heavy chain-only antibody. We find that despite low sequence conservation, the basic Ig fold of modern antibodies is already present in the evolutionary ancient shark IgNAR domains, highlighting key structural determinants of the ubiquitous Ig fold. In contrast, structural differences between human and shark antibody domains explain the high stability of several IgNAR domains and allowed us to engineer human antibodies for increased stability and secretion efficiency. We identified two constant domains, C1 and C3, that act as dimerization modules within IgNAR. Together with the individual domain structures and small-angle X-ray scattering, this allowed us to develop a structural model of the complete IgNAR molecule. Its constant region exhibits an elongated shape with flexibility and a characteristic kink in the middle. Despite the lack of a canonical hinge region, the variable domains are spaced appropriately wide for binding to multiple antigens. Thus, the shark IgNAR domains already display the well-known Ig fold, but apart from that, this heavy chain-only antibody employs unique ways for dimerization and positioning of functional modules.

  13. Insight toward epithelial Na+ channel mechanism revealed by the acid-sensing ion channel 1 structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockand, James D; Staruschenko, Alexander; Pochynyuk, Oleh; Booth, Rachell E; Silverthorn, Dee U

    2008-09-01

    The epithelial Na(+) channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) protein family includes a diverse group of ion channels, including nonvoltage-gated Na(+) channels of epithelia and neurons, and the acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1). In mammalian epithelia, ENaC helps regulate Na(+) and associated water transport, making it a critical determinant of systemic blood pressure and pulmonary mucosal fluidity. In the nervous system, ENaC/DEG proteins are related to sensory transduction. While the importance and physiological function of these ion channels are established, less is known about their structure. One hallmark of the ENaC/DEG channel family is that each channel subunit has only two transmembrane domains connected by an exceedingly large extracellular loop. This subunit structure was recently confirmed when Jasti and colleagues determined the crystal structure of chicken ASIC1, a neuronal acid-sensing ENaC/DEG channel. By mapping ENaC to the structural coordinates of cASIC1, as we do here, we hope to provide insight toward ENaC structure. ENaC, like ASIC1, appears to be a trimeric channel containing 1alpha, 1beta, and 1gamma subunit. Heterotrimeric ENaC and monomeric ENaC subunits within the trimer possibly contain many of the major secondary, tertiary, and quaternary features identified in cASIC1 with a few subtle but critical differences. These differences are expected to have profound effects on channel behavior. In particular, they may contribute to ENaC insensitivity to acid and to its constitutive activity in the absence of time- and ligand-dependent inactivation. Experiments resulting from this comparison of cASIC1 and ENaC may help clarify unresolved issues related to ENaC architecture, and may help identify secondary structures and residues critical to ENaC function.

  14. Revised Mimivirus major capsid protein sequence reveals intron-containing gene structure and extra domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzan-Monti Marie

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Acanthamoebae polyphaga Mimivirus (APM is the largest known dsDNA virus. The viral particle has a nearly icosahedral structure with an internal capsid shell surrounded with a dense layer of fibrils. A Capsid protein sequence, D13L, was deduced from the APM L425 coding gene and was shown to be the most abundant protein found within the viral particle. However this protein remained poorly characterised until now. A revised protein sequence deposited in a database suggested an additional N-terminal stretch of 142 amino acids missing from the original deduced sequence. This result led us to investigate the L425 gene structure and the biochemical properties of the complete APM major Capsid protein. Results This study describes the full length 3430 bp Capsid coding gene and characterises the 593 amino acids long corresponding Capsid protein 1. The recombinant full length protein allowed the production of a specific monoclonal antibody able to detect the Capsid protein 1 within the viral particle. This protein appeared to be post-translationnally modified by glycosylation and phosphorylation. We proposed a secondary structure prediction of APM Capsid protein 1 compared to the Capsid protein structure of Paramecium Bursaria Chlorella Virus 1, another member of the Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA virus family. Conclusion The characterisation of the full length L425 Capsid coding gene of Acanthamoebae polyphaga Mimivirus provides new insights into the structure of the main Capsid protein. The production of a full length recombinant protein will be useful for further structural studies.

  15. Rich RNA Structure Landscapes Revealed by Mutate-and-Map Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Cordero

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Landscapes exhibiting multiple secondary structures arise in natural RNA molecules that modulate gene expression, protein synthesis, and viral infection [corrected]. We report herein that high-throughput chemical experiments can isolate an RNA's multiple alternative secondary structures as they are stabilized by systematic mutagenesis (mutate-and-map, M2 and that a computational algorithm, REEFFIT, enables unbiased reconstruction of these states' structures and populations. In an in silico benchmark on non-coding RNAs with complex landscapes, M2-REEFFIT recovers 95% of RNA helices present with at least 25% population while maintaining a low false discovery rate (10% and conservative error estimates. In experimental benchmarks, M2-REEFFIT recovers the structure landscapes of a 35-nt MedLoop hairpin, a 110-nt 16S rRNA four-way junction with an excited state, a 25-nt bistable hairpin, and a 112-nt three-state adenine riboswitch with its expression platform, molecules whose characterization previously required expert mutational analysis and specialized NMR or chemical mapping experiments. With this validation, M2-REEFFIT enabled tests of whether artificial RNA sequences might exhibit complex landscapes in the absence of explicit design. An artificial flavin mononucleotide riboswitch and a randomly generated RNA sequence are found to interconvert between three or more states, including structures for which there was no design, but that could be stabilized through mutations. These results highlight the likely pervasiveness of rich landscapes with multiple secondary structures in both natural and artificial RNAs and demonstrate an automated chemical/computational route for their empirical characterization.

  16. Anatase (101)-like Structural Model Revealed for Metastable Rutile TiO2(011) Surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Meiling; Shao, Sen; Gao, Bo; Lv, Jian; Li, Quan; Wang, Yanchao; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Lijun; Ma, Yanming

    2017-03-08

    Titanium dioxide has been widely used as an efficient transition metal oxide photocatalyst. However, its photocatalytic activity is limited to the ultraviolet spectrum range due to the large bandgap beyond 3 eV. Efforts to reduce the bandgap to achieve a broader spectrum range of light absorption have been successfully attempted via the experimental synthesis of dopant-free metastable surface structures of rutile-type TiO2 (011) 2 × 1. This new surface phase possesses a reduced bandgap of ∼2.1 eV, showing great potential for an excellent photocatalyst covering a wide range of visible light. There is a need to establish the atomistic structure of this metastable surface to understand the physical cause for the bandgap reduction and to improve the future design of photocatalysts. Here, we report computational investigations in an effort to unravel this surface structure via swarm structure-searching simulations. The established structure adopts the anatase (101)-like structure model, where the topmost 2-fold O atoms form a quasi-hexagonal surface pattern and bond with the unsaturated 5-fold and 4-fold Ti atoms in the next layer. The predicted anatase (101)-like surface model can naturally explain the experimental observation of the STM images, the electronic bandgap, and the oxidation state of Ti(4+). Dangling bonds on the anatase (101)-like surface are abundant making it a superior photocatalyst. First-principles molecular dynamics simulations have supported the high photocatalytic activity by showing that water and formic acid molecules dissociate spontaneously on the anatase (101)-like surface.

  17. Structural changes of phenylalanine 338 and histidine 447 revealed by the crystal structures of tabun-inhibited murine acetylcholinesterase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekström, Fredrik; Akfur, Christine; Tunemalm, Anna-Karin; Lundberg, Susanne

    2006-01-10

    Organophosphorus compounds (OPs) interfere with the catalytic mechanism of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by rapidly phosphorylating the catalytic serine residue. The inhibited enzyme can at least partly be reactivated with nucleophilic reactivators such as oximes. The covalently attached OP conjugate may undergo further intramolecular dealkylation or deamidation reactions, a process termed "aging" that results in an enzyme considered completely resistant to reactivation. Of particular interest is the inhibition and aging reaction of the OP compound tabun since tabun conjugates display an extraordinary resistance toward most reactivators of today. To investigate the structural basis for this resistance, we determined the crystal structures of Mus musculus AChE (mAChE) inhibited by tabun prior to and after the aging reaction. The nonaged tabun conjugate induces a structural change of the side chain of His447 that uncouples the catalytic triad and positions the imidazole ring of His447 in a conformation where it may form a hydrogen bond to a water molecule. Moreover, an unexpected displacement of the side chain of Phe338 narrows the active site gorge. In the crystal structure of the aged tabun conjugate, the side chains of His447 and Phe338 are reversed to the conformation found in the apo structure of mAChE. A hydrogen bond between the imidazole ring of His447 and the ethoxy oxygen of the aged tabun conjugate stabilizes the side chain of His447. The displacement of the side chain of Phe338 into the active site gorge of the nonaged tabun conjugate may interfere with the accessibility of reactivators and thereby contribute to the high resistance of tabun conjugates toward reactivation.

  18. Population genetic structure and historical demography of Oratosquilla oratoria revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, D; Ding, Ge; Ge, B; Zhang, H; Tang, B

    2012-12-01

    Genetic diversity, population genetic structure and molecular phylogeographic pattern of mantis shrimp Oratosquilla oratoria in Bohai Sea and South China Sea were analyzed by mitochondrial DNA sequences. Nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.00409-0.00669 and 0.894-0.953 respectively. Neighbor-Joining phylogenetic tree clustered two distinct lineages. Both phylogenetic tree and median-joining network showed the consistent genetic structure corresponding to geographical distribution. Mismatch distributions, negative neutral test and "star-like" network supported a sudden population expansion event. And the time was estimated about 44000 and 50000 years ago.

  19. Conductivity anisotropy helps to reveal the microscopic structure of a density wave at imperfect nesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigoriev, P. D.; Kostenko, S. S.

    2015-03-01

    Superconductivity or metallic state may coexist with density wave ordering at imperfect nesting of the Fermi surface. In addition to the macroscopic spatial phase separation, there are, at least, two possible microscopic structures of such coexistence: (i) the soliton-wall phase and (ii) the ungapped Fermi-surface pockets. We show that the conductivity anisotropy allows us to distinguish these two microscopic density-wave structures. The results obtained may help to analyze the experimental observations in layered organic metals (TMTSF)2PF6, (TMTSF)2ClO4, α-(BEDT-TTF)2KHg(SCN)4 and in other compounds.

  20. Conductivity anisotropy helps to reveal the microscopic structure of a density wave at imperfect nesting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigoriev, P.D., E-mail: grigorev@itp.ac.ru [L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Chernogolovka 142432 (Russian Federation); Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble (France); Kostenko, S.S. [Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, 142432 Chernogolovka (Russian Federation)

    2015-03-01

    Superconductivity or metallic state may coexist with density wave ordering at imperfect nesting of the Fermi surface. In addition to the macroscopic spatial phase separation, there are, at least, two possible microscopic structures of such coexistence: (i) the soliton-wall phase and (ii) the ungapped Fermi-surface pockets. We show that the conductivity anisotropy allows us to distinguish these two microscopic density-wave structures. The results obtained may help to analyze the experimental observations in layered organic metals (TMTSF){sub 2}PF{sub 6}, (TMTSF){sub 2}ClO{sub 4}, α-(BEDT-TTF){sub 2}KHg(SCN){sub 4} and in other compounds.

  1. Structures of pattern recognition receptors reveal molecular mechanisms of autoinhibition, ligand recognition and oligomerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuenchor, Watchalee; Jin, Tengchuan; Ravilious, Geoffrey; Xiao, T Sam

    2014-02-01

    Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are essential sentinels for pathogens or tissue damage and integral components of the innate immune system. Recent structural studies have provided unprecedented insights into the molecular mechanisms of ligand recognition and signal transduction by several PRR families at distinct subcellular compartments. Here we highlight some of the recent discoveries and summarize the common themes that are emerging from these exciting studies. Better mechanistic understanding of the structure and function of the PRRs will improve future prospects of therapeutic targeting of these important innate immune receptors.

  2. Nuclear species-diagnostic SNP markers mined from 454 amplicon sequencing reveal admixture genomic structure of modern citrus varieties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curk, Franck; Ancillo, Gema; Ollitrault, Frédérique; Perrier, Xavier; Jacquemoud-Collet, Jean-Pierre; Garcia-Lor, Andres; Navarro, Luis; Ollitrault, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Most cultivated Citrus species originated from interspecific hybridisation between four ancestral taxa (C. reticulata, C. maxima, C. medica, and C. micrantha) with limited further interspecific recombination due to vegetative propagation. This evolution resulted in admixture genomes with frequent interspecific heterozygosity. Moreover, a major part of the phenotypic diversity of edible citrus results from the initial differentiation between these taxa. Deciphering the phylogenomic structure of citrus germplasm is therefore essential for an efficient utilization of citrus biodiversity in breeding schemes. The objective of this work was to develop a set of species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for the four Citrus ancestral taxa covering the nine chromosomes, and to use these markers to infer the phylogenomic structure of secondary species and modern cultivars. Species-diagnostic SNPs were mined from 454 amplicon sequencing of 57 gene fragments from 26 genotypes of the four basic taxa. Of the 1,053 SNPs mined from 28,507 kb sequence, 273 were found to be highly diagnostic for a single basic taxon. Species-diagnostic SNP markers (105) were used to analyse the admixture structure of varieties and rootstocks. This revealed C. maxima introgressions in most of the old and in all recent selections of mandarins, and suggested that C. reticulata × C. maxima reticulation and introgression processes were important in edible mandarin domestication. The large range of phylogenomic constitutions between C. reticulata and C. maxima revealed in mandarins, tangelos, tangors, sweet oranges, sour oranges, grapefruits, and orangelos is favourable for genetic association studies based on phylogenomic structures of the germplasm. Inferred admixture structures were in agreement with previous hypotheses regarding the origin of several secondary species and also revealed the probable origin of several acid citrus varieties. The developed species-diagnostic SNP

  3. Novel disulfide bond-mediated dimerization of the CARD domain was revealed by the crystal structure of CARMA1 CARD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-ho Jang

    Full Text Available CARMA1, BCL10 and MALT1 form a large molecular complex known as the CARMA1 signalosome during lymphocyte activation. Lymphocyte activation via the CARMA1 signalosome is critical to immune response and linked to many immune diseases. Despite the important role of the CARMA1 signalosome during lymphocyte activation and proliferation, limited structural information is available. Here, we report the dimeric structure of CARMA1 CARD at a resolution of 3.2 Å. Interestingly, although CARMA1 CARD has a canonical six helical-bundles structural fold similar to other CARDs, CARMA1 CARD shows the first homo-dimeric structure of CARD formed by a disulfide bond and reveals a possible biologically important homo-dimerization mechanism.

  4. Natural and Semisynthetic Analogues of Manadoperoxide B Reveal New Structural Requirements for Trypanocidal Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Chemical analysis of the Indonesian sponge Plakortis cfr. lita afforded two new analogues of the potent trypanocidal agent manadoperoxide B (1, namely 12-isomanadoperoxide B (2 and manadoperoxidic acid B (3. These compounds were isolated along with a new short chain dicarboxylate monoester (4, bearing some interesting relationships with the polyketide endoperoxides found in this sponge. Some semi-synthetic analogues of manadoperoxide B (6–8 were prepared and evaluated for antitrypanosomal activity and cytotoxicity. These studies revealed crucial structure–activity relationships that should be taken into account in the design of optimized and simplified endoperoxyketal trypanocidal agents.

  5. Multiwavelength Study to Reveal Dust Properties and Cloud 3D Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagani, Laurent; Lefevre, C.

    2017-06-01

    The study of low-mass prestellar cores is a difficult task which needs to gather several tools, dust and gas observations, radiative transfer modelling. No single tracer can reveal the physical characteristics of these cores. We show that based on observations of N2H+, and dust from 1 µm to 1 mm, one can hope today to have a faithful 3D description of a dark cloud and its prestellar core. Dust being ill-defined, only the combination of absorption, scattering and emission measurements and modelling can alleviate the degeneracy between temperature, density and emissivity of the dust.

  6. DNA sequence and structure properties analysis reveals similarities and differences to promoters of stress responsive genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Pan; Zhou, Yanhong; Zhang, Libin; Ma, Chuang

    2015-01-01

    Understanding regulatory mechanisms of stress response in plants has important biological and agricultural significances. In this study, we firstly compiled a set of genes responsive to different stresses in Arabidopsis thaliana and then comparatively analysed their promoters at both the DNA sequence and three-dimensional structure levels. Amazingly, the comparison revealed that the profiles of several sequence and structure properties vary distinctly in different regions of promoters. Moreover, the content of nucleotide T and the profile of B-DNA twist are distinct in promoters from different stress groups, suggesting Arabidopsis genes might exploit different regulatory mechanisms in response to various stresses. Finally, we evaluated the performance of two representative promoter predictors including EP3 and PromPred. The evaluation results revealed their strengths and weakness for identifying stress-related promoters, providing valuable guidelines to accelerate the discovery of novel stress-related promoters and genes in plants.

  7. Survey of large protein complexes D. vulgaris reveals great structural diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, B.-G.; Dong, M.; Liu, H.; Camp, L.; Geller, J.; Singer, M.; Hazen, T. C.; Choi, M.; Witkowska, H. E.; Ball, D. A.; Typke, D.; Downing, K. H.; Shatsky, M.; Brenner, S. E.; Chandonia, J.-M.; Biggin, M. D.; Glaeser, R. M.

    2009-08-15

    An unbiased survey has been made of the stable, most abundant multi-protein complexes in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (DvH) that are larger than Mr {approx} 400 k. The quaternary structures for 8 of the 16 complexes purified during this work were determined by single-particle reconstruction of negatively stained specimens, a success rate {approx}10 times greater than that of previous 'proteomic' screens. In addition, the subunit compositions and stoichiometries of the remaining complexes were determined by biochemical methods. Our data show that the structures of only two of these large complexes, out of the 13 in this set that have recognizable functions, can be modeled with confidence based on the structures of known homologs. These results indicate that there is significantly greater variability in the way that homologous prokaryotic macromolecular complexes are assembled than has generally been appreciated. As a consequence, we suggest that relying solely on previously determined quaternary structures for homologous proteins may not be sufficient to properly understand their role in another cell of interest.

  8. The reproductive biology of Polytrichum formosum : clonal structure and paternity revealed by microsatellites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Velde, M; During, HJ; Van de Zande, L; Bijlsma, R

    2001-01-01

    Using highly polymorphic microsatellite markers, we assessed clonal structure and paternity in a population of the bryophyte species Polytrichum formosum. Identical multilocus genotypes of individual shoots were almost never observed in spatially separated cushions, but were found to be highly clust

  9. CDK1 structures reveal conserved and unique features of the essential cell cycle CDK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Nicholas R.; Korolchuk, Svitlana; Martin, Mathew P.; Stanley, Will A.; Moukhametzianov, Rouslan; Noble, Martin E. M.; Endicott, Jane A.

    2015-04-01

    CDK1 is the only essential cell cycle CDK in human cells and is required for successful completion of M-phase. It is the founding member of the CDK family and is conserved across all eukaryotes. Here we report the crystal structures of complexes of CDK1-Cks1 and CDK1-cyclin B-Cks2. These structures confirm the conserved nature of the inactive monomeric CDK fold and its ability to be remodelled by cyclin binding. Relative to CDK2-cyclin A, CDK1-cyclin B is less thermally stable, has a smaller interfacial surface, is more susceptible to activation segment dephosphorylation and shows differences in the substrate sequence features that determine activity. Both CDK1 and CDK2 are potential cancer targets for which selective compounds are required. We also describe the first structure of CDK1 bound to a potent ATP-competitive inhibitor and identify aspects of CDK1 structure and plasticity that might be exploited to develop CDK1-selective inhibitors.

  10. Non-Linear Behaviour Of Gelatin Networks Reveals A Hierarchical Structure

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Zhi

    2015-12-14

    We investigate the strain hardening behaviour of various gelatin networks - namely physically-crosslinked gelatin gel, chemically-crosslinked gelatin gels, and a hybrid gels made of a combination of the former two - under large shear deformations using the pre-stress, strain ramp, and large amplitude oscillation shear protocols. Further, the internal structures of physically-crosslinked gelatin gel and chemically-crosslinked gelatin gels were characterized by small angle neutron scattering (SANS) to enable their internal structures to be correlated with their nonlinear rheology. The Kratky plots of SANS data demonstrate the presence of small cross-linked aggregates within the chemically-crosslinked network, whereas in the physically-crosslinked gels a relatively homogeneous structure is observed. Through model fitting to the scattering data, we were able to obtain structural parameters, such as correlation length (ξ), cross-sectional polymer chain radius (Rc), and the fractal dimension (df) of the gel networks. The fractal dimension df obtained from the SANS data of the physically-crosslinked and chemically crosslinked gels is 1.31 and 1.53, respectively. These values are in excellent agreement with the ones obtained from a generalized non-linear elastic theory we used to fit our stress-strain curves. The chemical crosslinking that generates coils and aggregates hinders the free stretching of the triple helices bundles in the physically-crosslinked gels.

  11. Crystal structure of the carbapenemase OXA-24 reveals insights into the mechanism of carbapenem hydrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santillana, Elena; Beceiro, Alejandro; Bou, Germán; Romero, Antonio

    2007-03-27

    Combating bacterial resistance to beta-lactams, the most widely used antibiotics, is an emergent and clinically important challenge. OXA-24 is a class D beta-lactamase isolated from a multiresistant epidemic clinical strain of Acinetobacter baumannii. We have investigated how OXA-24 specifically hydrolyzes the last resort carbapenem antibiotic, and we have determined the crystal structure of OXA-24 at a resolution of 2.5 A. The structure shows that the carbapenem's substrate specificity is determined by a hydrophobic barrier that is established through the specific arrangement of the Tyr-112 and Met-223 side chains, which define a tunnel-like entrance to the active site. The importance of these residues was further confirmed by mutagenesis studies. Biochemical and microbiological analyses of specific point mutants selected on the basis of structural criteria significantly reduced the catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) against carbapenems, whereas the specificity for oxacillin was noticeably increased. This is the previously unrecognized crystal structure that has been obtained for a class D carbapenemase enzyme. Accordingly, this information may help to improve the development of effective new drugs to combat beta-lactam resistance. More specifically, it may help to overcome carbapenem resistance in A. baumannii, probably one of the most worrying infectious threats in hospitals worldwide.

  12. Structures of down syndrome kinases, DYRKs, reveal mechanisms of kinase activation and substrate recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soundararajan, M.; Roos, A.K.; Savitsky, P.

    2013-01-01

    Dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) play key roles in brain development, regulation of splicing, and apoptosis, and are potential drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. We present crystal structures of one representative member of each DYRK sub...

  13. Fine-scale phylogeographic structure of Borrelia lusitaniae revealed by multilocus sequence typing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana R Vitorino

    Full Text Available Borrelia lusitaniae is an Old World species of the Lyme borreliosis (LB group of tick-borne spirochetes and prevails mainly in countries around the Mediterranean Basin. Lizards of the family Lacertidae have been identified as reservoir hosts of B. lusitaniae. These reptiles are highly structured geographically, indicating limited migration. In order to examine whether host geographic structure shapes the evolution and epidemiology of B. lusitaniae, we analyzed the phylogeographic population structure of this tick-borne bacterium using a recently developed multilocus sequence typing (MLST scheme based on chromosomal housekeeping genes. A total of 2,099 questing nymphal and adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in two climatically different regions of Portugal, being approximately 130 km apart. All ticks were screened for spirochetes by direct PCR. Attempts to isolate strains yielded 16 cultures of B. lusitaniae in total. Uncontaminated cultures as well as infected ticks were included in this study. The results using MLST show that the regional B. lusitaniae populations constitute genetically distinct populations. In contrast, no clear phylogeographic signals were detected in sequences of the commonly used molecular markers ospA and ospC. The pronounced population structure of B. lusitaniae over a short geographic distance as captured by MLST of the housekeeping genes suggests that the migration rates of B. lusitaniae are rather low, most likely because the distribution of mediterranean lizard populations is highly parapatric. The study underlines the importance of vertebrate hosts in the geographic spread of tick-borne microparasites.

  14. Fine-scale phylogeographic structure of Borrelia lusitaniae revealed by multilocus sequence typing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitorino, Liliana R; Margos, Gabriele; Feil, Edward J; Collares-Pereira, Margarida; Zé-Zé, Libia; Kurtenbach, Klaus

    2008-01-01

    Borrelia lusitaniae is an Old World species of the Lyme borreliosis (LB) group of tick-borne spirochetes and prevails mainly in countries around the Mediterranean Basin. Lizards of the family Lacertidae have been identified as reservoir hosts of B. lusitaniae. These reptiles are highly structured geographically, indicating limited migration. In order to examine whether host geographic structure shapes the evolution and epidemiology of B. lusitaniae, we analyzed the phylogeographic population structure of this tick-borne bacterium using a recently developed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme based on chromosomal housekeeping genes. A total of 2,099 questing nymphal and adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in two climatically different regions of Portugal, being approximately 130 km apart. All ticks were screened for spirochetes by direct PCR. Attempts to isolate strains yielded 16 cultures of B. lusitaniae in total. Uncontaminated cultures as well as infected ticks were included in this study. The results using MLST show that the regional B. lusitaniae populations constitute genetically distinct populations. In contrast, no clear phylogeographic signals were detected in sequences of the commonly used molecular markers ospA and ospC. The pronounced population structure of B. lusitaniae over a short geographic distance as captured by MLST of the housekeeping genes suggests that the migration rates of B. lusitaniae are rather low, most likely because the distribution of mediterranean lizard populations is highly parapatric. The study underlines the importance of vertebrate hosts in the geographic spread of tick-borne microparasites.

  15. Cryo-EM structure of respiratory complex I reveals a link to mitochondrial sulfur metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imprima, Edoardo; Mills, Deryck J; Parey, Kristian; Brandt, Ulrich; Kühlbrandt, Werner; Zickermann, Volker; Vonck, Janet

    2016-12-01

    Mitochondrial complex I is a 1MDa membrane protein complex with a central role in aerobic energy metabolism. The bioenergetic core functions are executed by 14 central subunits that are conserved from bacteria to man. Despite recent progress in structure determination, our understanding of the function of the ~30 accessory subunits associated with the mitochondrial complex is still limited. We have investigated the structure of complex I from the aerobic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica by cryo-electron microscopy. Our density map at 7.9Å resolution closely matches the 3.6-3.9Å X-ray structure of the Yarrowia lipolytica complex. However, the cryo-EM map indicated an additional subunit on the side of the matrix arm above the membrane surface, pointing away from the membrane arm. The density, which is not present in any previously described complex I structure and occurs in about 20 % of the particles, was identified as the accessory sulfur transferase subunit ST1. The Yarrowia lipolytica complex I preparation is active in generating H2S from the cysteine derivative 3-mercaptopyruvate, catalyzed by ST1. We thus provide evidence for a link between respiratory complex I and mitochondrial sulfur metabolism.

  16. A genome wide survey of SNP variation reveals the genetic structure of sheep breeds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James W Kijas

    Full Text Available The genetic structure of sheep reflects their domestication and subsequent formation into discrete breeds. Understanding genetic structure is essential for achieving genetic improvement through genome-wide association studies, genomic selection and the dissection of quantitative traits. After identifying the first genome-wide set of SNP for sheep, we report on levels of genetic variability both within and between a diverse sample of ovine populations. Then, using cluster analysis and the partitioning of genetic variation, we demonstrate sheep are characterised by weak phylogeographic structure, overlapping genetic similarity and generally low differentiation which is consistent with their short evolutionary history. The degree of population substructure was, however, sufficient to cluster individuals based on geographic origin and known breed history. Specifically, African and Asian populations clustered separately from breeds of European origin sampled from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. Furthermore, we demonstrate the presence of stratification within some, but not all, ovine breeds. The results emphasize that careful documentation of genetic structure will be an essential prerequisite when mapping the genetic basis of complex traits. Furthermore, the identification of a subset of SNP able to assign individuals into broad groupings demonstrates even a small panel of markers may be suitable for applications such as traceability.

  17. Herbarium specimens reveal a historical shift in phylogeographic structure of common ragweed during native range disturbance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martin, Michael David; Zimmer, Elizabeth A.; Olsen, Morten Tange;

    2014-01-01

    expanded rapidly as settlers deforested the landscape on a massive scale, later becoming an aggressive invasive with populations established globally. Towards a direct comparison of genetic structure now and during intense anthropogenic disturbance of the late 19th century, we sampled 45 natural...

  18. Community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in undisturbed vegetation revealed by analyses of LSU rdna sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosendahl, Søren; Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva

    2004-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form a mutualistic symbiosis with plant roots and are found in most ecosystems. In this study the community structure of AMF in a clade of the genus Glomus was examined in undisturbed costal grassland using LSU rDNA sequences amplified from roots of Hieracium pi...

  19. Genetic structure of Polytrichum formosum in relation to the breeding system as revealed by microsatellites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Velde, M; Van de Zande, L; Bijlsma, R

    2001-01-01

    Microsatellite variation was determined for three Danish and three Dutch populations of the haploid moss species Polytrichum formosum to gain insight into the relative importance of sexual vs. asexual reproduction for the amount and structure of genetic variation. In general, low levels of microsate

  20. Structural changes in collagen fibrils across a mineralized interface revealed by cryo-TEM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Bryan D; Sone, Eli D

    2015-08-01

    The structure of the mineralized collagen fibril, which is the basic building block of mineralized connective tissues, is critical to its function. We use cryo-TEM to study collagen structure at a well-defined hard-soft tissue interface, across which collagen fibrils are continuous, in order to evaluate changes to collagen upon mineralization. To establish a basis for the analysis of collagen banding, we compared cryo-TEM images of rat-tail tendon collagen to a model based on the X-ray structure. While there is close correspondence of periodicity, differences in band intensity indicate fibril regions with high density but lacking order, providing new insight into collagen fibrillar structure. Across a mineralized interface, we show that mineralization results in an axial contraction of the fibril, concomitant with lateral expansion, and that this contraction occurs only in the more flexible gap region of the fibril. Nevertheless, the major features of the banding pattern are not significantly changed, indicating that the axial arrangement of molecules remains largely intact. These results suggest a mechanism by which collagen fibrils are able to accommodate large amounts of mineral without significant disruption of their molecular packing, leading to synergy of mechanical properties.

  1. Revealing the Large-Scale Structures of Interstellar Gas Associated with the Magellanic SNR N132D

    CERN Document Server

    Sano, H; Yoshiike, S; Fukuda, T; Tachihara, K; Inutsuka, S; Kawamura, A; Fujii, K; Mizuno, N; Inoue, T; Onishi, T; Acero, F; Vink, J

    2015-01-01

    We report preliminary results of large-scale distribution toward the Magellanic supernova remnant N132D using Mopra and Chandra archival datasets. We identified a cavity-like CO structure along the X-ray shell toward the southern half of it. The total mass of associating molecular gas is $\\sim10^4 M_\\odot$, which is smaller than the previous study by an order of magnitude. Further observations using ALMA, ASTE, and Mopra will reveal the detailed spatial structures and its physical conditions.

  2. Structural analysis of the KRIT1 ankyrin repeat and FERM domains reveals a conformationally stable ARD-FERM interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Rong [Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States); Li, Xiaofeng [Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States); Boggon, Titus J. [Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States)

    2015-10-14

    Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular dysplasias that usually occur in the brain and are associated with mutations in the KRIT1/CCM1, CCM2/MGC4607/OSM/Malcavernin, and PDCD10/CCM3/ TFAR15 genes. Here we report the 2.9 Å crystal structure of the ankyrin repeat domain (ARD) and FERM domain of the protein product of KRIT1 (KRIT1; Krev interaction trapped 1). The crystal structure reveals that the KRIT1 ARD contains 4 ankyrin repeats. There is also an unusual conformation in the ANK4 repeat that is stabilized by Trp-404, and the structure reveals a solvent exposed ankyrin groove. Domain orientations of the three copies within the asymmetric unit suggest a stable interaction between KRIT1 ARD and FERM domains, indicating a globular ARD–FERM module. It resembles the additional F0 domain found N-terminal to the FERM domain of talin. Structural analysis of KRIT1 ARD–FERM highlights surface regions of high evolutionary conservation, and suggests potential sites that could mediate interaction with binding partners. The structure therefore provides a better understanding of KRIT1 at the molecular level.

  3. Structural analysis of the KRIT1 ankyrin repeat and FERM domains reveals a conformationally stable ARD-FERM interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rong; Li, Xiaofeng; Boggon, Titus J

    2015-12-01

    Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular dysplasias that usually occur in the brain and are associated with mutations in the KRIT1/CCM1, CCM2/MGC4607/OSM/Malcavernin, and PDCD10/CCM3/TFAR15 genes. Here we report the 2.9 Å crystal structure of the ankyrin repeat domain (ARD) and FERM domain of the protein product of KRIT1 (KRIT1; Krev interaction trapped 1). The crystal structure reveals that the KRIT1 ARD contains 4 ankyrin repeats. There is an unusual conformation in the ANK4 repeat that is stabilized by Trp-404, and the structure reveals a solvent exposed ankyrin groove. Domain orientations of the three copies within the asymmetric unit suggest a stable interaction between KRIT1 ARD and FERM domains, indicating a globular ARD-FERM module. This resembles the additional F0 domain found N-terminal to the FERM domain of talin. Structural analysis of KRIT1 ARD-FERM highlights surface regions of high evolutionary conservation, and suggests potential sites that could mediate interaction with binding partners. The structure therefore provides a better understanding of KRIT1 at the molecular level.

  4. Denatured-state energy landscapes of a protein structural database reveal the energetic determinants of a framework model for folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Suwei; Gu, Jenny; Larson, Scott A; Whitten, Steven T; Hilser, Vincent J

    2008-09-19

    Position-specific denatured-state thermodynamics were determined for a database of human proteins by use of an ensemble-based model of protein structure. The results of modeling denatured protein in this manner reveal important sequence-dependent thermodynamic properties in the denatured ensembles as well as fundamental differences between the denatured and native ensembles in overall thermodynamic character. The generality and robustness of these results were validated by performing fold-recognition experiments, whereby sequences were matched with their respective folds based on amino acid propensities for the different energetic environments in the protein, as determined through cluster analysis. Correlation analysis between structure and energetic information revealed that sequence segments destined for beta-sheet in the final native fold are energetically more predisposed to a broader repertoire of states than are sequence segments destined for alpha-helix. These results suggest that within the subensemble of mostly unstructured states, the energy landscapes are dominated by states in which parts of helices adopt structure, whereas structure formation for sequences destined for beta-strand is far less probable. These results support a framework model of folding, which suggests that, in general, the denatured state has evolutionarily evolved to avoid low-energy conformations in sequences that ultimately adopt beta-strand. Instead, the denatured state evolved so that sequence segments that ultimately adopt alpha-helix and coil will have a high intrinsic structure formation capability, thus serving as potential nucleation sites.

  5. The Chicxulub impact structure: What does the Yaxcopoil-1 drill core reveal?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbra, T.

    2013-05-01

    The Chicxulub impact structure, one of the largest impact structures on Earth, was formed 65 Ma by hypervelocity impact which led to the large mass-extinction at K-Pg boundary. This well preserved but buried structure has undergone numerous drillings and studies aimed to understand the formation mechanism, structure and age of the crater. The Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) drill core, located in the southern sector of the Chicxulub crater, in the outer part of an annular trough, 62 km from the crater center, was drilled by ICDP in 2001-2002. Petrophysical, rock- and paleomagnetic studies of Yax-1 (Elbra and Pesonen, 2011) showed that physical properties characterize the various lithological units. Dependence on mineral composition rather than fabric was observed in pre-impact lithologies contrarily to the post-impact and impact rocks where the physical properties were dominated by porosity and reflected, in case of impactites, the impact formation mechanism with its numerous features resulting from melting, brecciation and fracturing. Furthermore, while the pre- and post-impact lithologies in Yax-1 are mostly dia- or paramagnetic, the impactite units indicated enhanced magnetizations and the presence of ferromagnetic, probably hydrothermally deposited magnetite and pyrrhotite. The sharp contrast of the impactites to the target and to post-impact lithologies allowed establishing the contact (especially the K-Pg boundary) between. The anisotropy, shape and orientation of the magnetic fraction illustrated the fabric randomization and showed the influence of impact-related redeposition and hydrothermal activity. The paleomagnetic data suggested that the Chicxulub impact occurred during the reverse polarity geomagnetic chron 29R, which is in agreement with the isotopic dates of the Chicxulub impact as well as with expected K-Pg boundary polarity. Reference Elbra, T. and Pesonen, L.J., 2011. Physical properties of the Yaxcopoil-1 deep drill core, Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico

  6. Structure-function analysis of Staphylococcus aureus amidase reveals the determinants of peptidoglycan recognition and cleavage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Felix Michael; Zoll, Sebastian; Nega, Mulugeta; Götz, Friedrich; Stehle, Thilo

    2014-04-18

    The bifunctional major autolysin AtlA of Staphylococcus aureus cleaves the bacterium's peptidoglycan network (PGN) at two distinct sites during cell division. Deletion of the enzyme results in large cell clusters with disordered division patterns, indicating that AtlA could be a promising target for the development of new antibiotics. One of the two functions of AtlA is performed by the N-acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidase AmiA, which cleaves the bond between the carbohydrate and the peptide moieties of PGN. To establish the structural requirements of PGN recognition and the enzymatic mechanism of cleavage, we solved the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of AmiA (AmiA-cat) in complex with a peptidoglycan-derived ligand at 1.55 Å resolution. The peptide stem is clearly visible in the structure, forming extensive contacts with protein residues by docking into an elongated groove. Less well defined electron density and the analysis of surface features indicate likely positions of the carbohydrate backbone and the pentaglycine bridge. Substrate specificity analysis supports the importance of the pentaglycine bridge for fitting into the binding cleft of AmiA-cat. PGN of S. aureus with l-lysine tethered with d-alanine via a pentaglycine bridge is completely hydrolyzed, whereas PGN of Bacillus subtilis with meso-diaminopimelic acid directly tethered with d-alanine is not hydrolyzed. An active site mutant, H370A, of AmiA-cat was completely inactive, providing further support for the proposed catalytic mechanism of AmiA. The structure reported here is not only the first of any bacterial amidase in which both the PGN component and the water molecule that carries out the nucleophilic attack on the carbonyl carbon of the scissile bond are present; it is also the first peptidoglycan amidase complex structure of an important human pathogen.

  7. Crystal structures of β-1,4-galactosyltransferase 7 enzyme reveal conformational changes and substrate binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, Yuko; Ramakrishnan, Boopathy; Qasba, Pradman K

    2013-11-01

    The β-1,4-galactosyltransferase 7 (β4GalT7) enzyme is involved in proteoglycan synthesis. In the presence of a manganese ion, it transfers galactose from UDP-galactose to xylose on a proteoglycan acceptor substrate. We present here the crystal structures of human β4GalT7 in open and closed conformations. A comparison of these crystal structures shows that, upon manganese and UDP or UDP-Gal binding, the enzyme undergoes conformational changes involving a small and a long loop. We also present the crystal structures of Drosophila wild-type β4GalT7 and D211N β4GalT7 mutant enzymes in the closed conformation in the presence of the acceptor substrate xylobiose and the donor substrate UDP-Gal, respectively. To understand the catalytic mechanism, we have crystallized the ternary complex of D211N β4GalT7 mutant enzyme in the presence of manganese with the donor and the acceptor substrates together in the same crystal structure. The galactose moiety of the bound UDP-Gal molecule forms seven hydrogen bonds with the protein molecule. The nonreducing end of the xylose moiety of xylobiose binds to the hydrophobic acceptor sugar binding pocket created by the conformational changes, whereas its extended xylose moiety forms hydrophobic interactions with a Tyr residue. In the ternary complex crystal structure, the nucleophile O4 oxygen atom of the xylose molecule is found in close proximity to the C1 and O5 atoms of the galactose moiety. This is the first time that a Michaelis complex of a glycosyltransferase has been described, and it clearly suggests an SN2 type catalytic mechanism for the β4GalT7 enzyme.

  8. Crystal Structure of Deinococcus Phytochrome in the Photoactivated State Reveals a Cascade of Structural Rearrangements during Photoconversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgie, E Sethe; Zhang, Junrui; Vierstra, Richard D

    2016-03-01

    Phytochromes are photochromic photoreceptors responsible for a myriad of red/far-red light-dependent processes in plants and microorganisms. Interconversion is initially driven by photoreversible isomerization of bilin, but how this alteration directs the photostate-dependent changes within the protein to actuate signaling is poorly understood. Here, we describe the structure of the Deinococcus phytochrome photosensory module in its near complete far-red light-absorbing Pfr state. In addition to confirming the 180° rotation of the D-pyrrole ring, the dimeric structure clearly identifies downstream rearrangements that trigger large-scale conformational differences between the dark-adapted and photoactivated states. Mutational analyses verified the importance of residues surrounding the bilin in Pfr stabilization, and protease sensitivity assays corroborated photostate alterations that propagate along the dimeric interface. Collectively, these data support a cooperative "toggle" model for phytochrome photoconversion and advance our understanding of the allosteric connection between the photosensory and output modules.

  9. Novel structural features in the GMC family of oxidoreductases revealed by the crystal structure of fungal aryl-alcohol oxidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Israel S; Ruíz-Dueñas, Francisco J; Santillana, Elena; Ferreira, Patricia; Martínez, María Jesús; Martínez, Angel T; Romero, Antonio

    2009-11-01

    Lignin biodegradation, a key step in carbon recycling in land ecosystems, is carried out by white-rot fungi through an H(2)O(2)-dependent process defined as enzymatic combustion. Pleurotus eryngii is a selective lignin-degrading fungus that produces H(2)O(2) during redox cycling of p-anisylic compounds involving the secreted flavoenzyme aryl-alcohol oxidase (AAO). Here, the 2.4 A resolution X-ray crystal structure of this oxidoreductase, which catalyzes dehydrogenation reactions on various primary polyunsaturated alcohols, yielding the corresponding aldehydes, is reported. The AAO crystal structure was solved by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction of a selenomethionine derivative obtained by Escherichia coli expression and in vitro folding. This monomeric enzyme is composed of two domains, the overall folding of which places it into the GMC (glucose-methanol-choline oxidase) oxidoreductase family, and a noncovalently bound FAD cofactor. However, two additional structural elements exist in the surroundings of its active site that modulate the access of substrates; these are absent in the structure of the model GMC oxidoreductase glucose oxidase. The folding of these novel elements gives rise to a funnel-like hydrophobic channel that connects the solvent region to the buried active-site cavity of AAO. This putative active-site cavity is located in front of the re side of the FAD isoalloxazine ring and near two histidines (His502 and His546) that could contribute to alcohol activation as catalytic bases. Moreover, three aromatic side chains from two phenylalanines (Phe397 and Phe502) and one tyrosine (Tyr92) at the inner region of the channel form an aromatic gate that may regulate the access of the enzyme substrates to the active site as well as contribute to the recognition of the alcohols that can effectively be oxidized by AAO.

  10. Structural similarities and differences in Staphylococcus aureus exfoliative toxins A and B as revealed by their crystal structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papageorgiou, A C; Plano, L R; Collins, C M; Acharya, K R

    2000-03-01

    Staphylococcal aureus epidermolytic toxins (ETs) A and B are responsible for the induction of staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, a disease of neonates and young children. The clinical features of this syndrome vary from localized blisters to severe exfoliation affecting most of the body surface. Comparison of the crystal structures of two subtypes of ETs-rETA (at 2.0 A resolution), rETB (at 2.8 A resolution), and an active site variant of rETA, Ser195Ala at 2.0 A resolution has demonstrated that their overall topology resembles that of a "trypsin-like" serine protease, but with significant differences at the N- and C-termini and loop regions. The details of the catalytic site in both ET structures are very similar to those in glutamate-specific serine proteases, suggesting a common catalytic mechanism. However, the "oxyanion hole," which is part of the catalytic sites of glutamate specific serine proteases, is in the closed or inactive conformation for rETA, yet in the open or active conformation for rETB. The ETs contain a unique amphipathic helix at the N-terminus, and it appears to be involved in optimizing the conformation of the catalytic site residues. Determination of the structure of the rETA catalytic site variant, Ser195Ala, showed no significant perturbation at the active site, establishing that the loss of biological and esterolytic activity can be attributed solely to disruption of the catalytic serine residue. Finally, the crystal structure of ETs, together with biochemical data and mutagenesis studies, strongly confirms the classification of these molecules as "serine proteases" rather than "superantigens."

  11. Fine-Scale Genetic Structure and Cryptic Associations Reveal Evidence of Kin-Based Sociality in the African Forest Elephant

    OpenAIRE

    Stephanie G Schuttler; Jessica A Philbrick; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Eggert, Lori S.

    2014-01-01

    Spatial patterns of relatedness within animal populations are important in the evolution of mating and social systems, and have the potential to reveal information on species that are difficult to observe in the wild. This study examines the fine-scale genetic structure and connectivity of groups within African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, which are often difficult to observe due to forest habitat. We tested the hypothesis that genetic similarity will decline with increasing geograph...

  12. Microtopography: What does it reveal about landscape structure, organization and processes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Praveen; Goodwell, Allison; Le, Phong; Dutta, Debsunder

    2013-04-01

    High resolution Lidar topography and Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Sprectrometer (AVIRIS) remote sensing data are becoming increasingly available over large regions of the Earth's surface. These data sets can be linked to reveal processes and landscape features that cannot be detected at lower resolutions. In May 2011, the Bird's Point New Madrid Floodway in southeastern Missouri was intentionally breached during extreme Mississippi and Ohio River flooding. Pre- and post-flood Lidar and post-flood AVIRIS data enable study of flood geomorphic impacts and the biogeochemical state of the floodplain. Differential Lidar quantifies erosion and deposition, while empirical, statistical and data mining techniques are employed to investigate soil properties from AVIRIS. Vegetation, soil properties, and flood exposure are linked to observed geomorphic impacts to indicate landscape vulnerability to flood events. Additionally, we develop an approach to characterize and link the spatial distribution of microtopographic depressions using the same high resolution Lidar data sets. Topographical floodplain legacies such as former meander scar ridges correlate to soil characteristics and vegetation within the floodplain, and also dictate much of the geomorphic impacts of the levee breach and subsequent inundation. At the location of one extremely eroded meander scar ridge, AVIRIS data shows a high clay content, increased iron concentration and decreased soil organic matter, all in accordance with the erosion of silty and sandy topsoil. This study highlights approaches in which high-resolution data sets can be linked to reveal important landscape properties and analyze impacts of extreme events and long-term legacy effects.

  13. High-throughput sequence analysis reveals structural diversity and improved potency among RNA inhibitors of HIV reverse transcriptase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditzler, Mark A; Lange, Margaret J; Bose, Debojit; Bottoms, Christopher A; Virkler, Katherine F; Sawyer, Andrew W; Whatley, Angela S; Spollen, William; Givan, Scott A; Burke, Donald H

    2013-02-01

    Systematic evolution of ligands through exponential enrichment (SELEX) is a well-established method for generating nucleic acid populations that are enriched for specified functions. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) enhances the power of comparative sequence analysis to reveal details of how RNAs within these populations recognize their targets. We used HTS analysis to evaluate RNA populations selected to bind type I human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase (RT). The populations are enriched in RNAs of independent lineages that converge on shared motifs and in clusters of RNAs with nearly identical sequences that share common ancestry. Both of these features informed inferences of the secondary structures of enriched RNAs, their minimal structural requirements and their stabilities in RT-aptamer complexes. Monitoring population dynamics in response to increasing selection pressure revealed RNA inhibitors of RT that are more potent than the previously identified pseudoknots. Improved potency was observed for inhibition of both purified RT in enzymatic assays and viral replication in cell-based assays. Structural and functional details of converged motifs that are obscured by simple consensus descriptions are also revealed by the HTS analysis. The approach presented here can readily be generalized for the efficient and systematic post-SELEX development of aptamers for down-stream applications.

  14. Early doors (Edo) mutant mouse reveals the importance of period 2 (PER2) PAS domain structure for circadian pacemaking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Militi, Stefania; Maywood, Elizabeth S; Sandate, Colby R; Chesham, Johanna E; Barnard, Alun R; Parsons, Michael J; Vibert, Jennifer L; Joynson, Greg M; Partch, Carrie L; Hastings, Michael H; Nolan, Patrick M

    2016-03-08

    The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) defines 24 h of time via a transcriptional/posttranslational feedback loop in which transactivation of Per (period) and Cry (cryptochrome) genes by BMAL1-CLOCK complexes is suppressed by PER-CRY complexes. The molecular/structural basis of how circadian protein complexes function is poorly understood. We describe a novel N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutation, early doors (Edo), in the PER-ARNT-SIM (PAS) domain dimerization region of period 2 (PER2) (I324N) that accelerates the circadian clock of Per2(Edo/Edo) mice by 1.5 h. Structural and biophysical analyses revealed that Edo alters the packing of the highly conserved interdomain linker of the PER2 PAS core such that, although PER2(Edo) complexes with clock proteins, its vulnerability to degradation mediated by casein kinase 1ε (CSNK1E) is increased. The functional relevance of this mutation is revealed by the ultrashort (Edo/Edo); Csnk1e(Tau/Tau) mice and the SCN. These periods are unprecedented in mice. Thus, Per2(Edo) reveals a direct causal link between the molecular structure of the PER2 PAS core and the pace of SCN circadian timekeeping.

  15. The structure of Zika virus NS5 reveals a conserved domain conformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Boxiao; Tan, Xiao-Feng; Thurmond, Stephanie; Zhang, Zhi-Min; Lin, Asher; Hai, Rong; Song, Jikui

    2017-01-01

    The recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) has imposed a serious threat to public health. Here we report the crystal structure of the ZIKV NS5 protein in complex with S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine, in which the tandem methyltransferase (MTase) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) domains stack into one of the two alternative conformations of flavivirus NS5 proteins. The activity of this NS5 protein is verified through a de novo RdRp assay on a subgenomic ZIKV RNA template. Importantly, our structural analysis leads to the identification of a potential drug-binding site of ZIKV NS5, which might facilitate the development of novel antivirals for ZIKV. PMID:28345600

  16. Structure of a mutant [beta] toxin from Staphylococcus aureus reveals domain swapping and conformational flexibility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kruse, Andrew C.; Huseby, Medora J.; Shi, Ke; Digre, Jeff; Ohlendorf, Douglas H.; Earhart, Cathleen A. (UMM)

    2011-09-16

    The 3.35 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of a mutant form of the staphylococcal sphingomyelinase {beta} toxin in which a conserved hydrophobic {beta}-hairpin has been deleted is reported. It is shown that this mutation induces domain swapping of a C-terminal {beta}-strand, leading to the formation of dimers linked by a conformationally flexible hinge region. Eight dimers are seen in the asymmetric unit, exhibiting a broad spectrum of conformations trapped in place by intermolecular contacts within the crystal lattice. Furthermore, the 16 monomers within each asymmetric unit exhibit a remarkable heterogeneity in thermal factors, which can be accounted for by the varying degrees to which each monomer interacts with other molecules in the crystal. This structure provides a unique example of the challenges associated with crystallographic study of flexible proteins.

  17. Complex structural dynamics of nanocatalysts revealed in Operando conditions by correlated imaging and spectroscopy probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y; Zakharov, D; Zhao, S; Tappero, R; Jung, U; Elsen, A; Baumann, Ph; Nuzzo, R G; Stach, E A; Frenkel, A I

    2015-06-29

    Understanding how heterogeneous catalysts change size, shape and structure during chemical reactions is limited by the paucity of methods for studying catalytic ensembles in working state, that is, in operando conditions. Here by a correlated use of synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy in operando conditions, we quantitatively describe the complex structural dynamics of supported Pt catalysts exhibited during an exemplary catalytic reaction-ethylene hydrogenation. This work exploits a microfabricated catalytic reactor compatible with both probes. The results demonstrate dynamic transformations of the ensemble of Pt clusters that spans a broad size range throughout changing reaction conditions. This method is generalizable to quantitative operando studies of complex systems using a wide variety of X-ray and electron-based experimental probes.

  18. Ultra-deep sequencing reveals the subclonal structure and genomic evolution of oral squamous cell carcinoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tabatabaeifar, Siavosh; Thomassen, Mads; Larsen, Martin Jakob

    Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), a subgroup of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), is primarily caused by alcohol consumption and tobacco use. Recent DNA sequencing studies suggests that HNSCC are very heterogeneous between patients; however the intra-patient subclonal...... structure remains unexplored due to lack of sampling multiple tumor biopsies from each patient. Materials and methods: To examine the clonal structure and describe the genomic cancer evolution we applied whole-exome sequencing combined with targeted ultra-deep targeted sequencing on biopsies from 5stage IV...... complex subclonal architectures comprising distinct subclones only found in geographically distinct regions of the tumors. The metastatic potential of the tumor is acquired early in the tumor evolution, as indicated by the lymph node sharing the majority of the mutations with the tumor biopsies, while...

  19. The strength of EPR and ENDOR techniques in revealing structure-function relationships in metalloproteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doorslaer, Sabine; Vinck, Evi

    2007-09-01

    Recent technological and methodological advances have strongly increased the potential of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) techniques to characterize the structure and dynamics of metalloproteins. These developments include the introduction of powerful pulsed EPR/ENDOR methodologies and the development of spectrometers operating at very high microwave frequencies and high magnetic fields. This overview focuses on how valuable information about metalloprotein structure-function relations can be obtained using a combination of EPR and ENDOR techniques. After an overview of the historical development and a limited theoretical description of some of the key EPR and ENDOR techniques, their potential will be highlighted using selected examples of applications to iron-, nickel-, cobalt-, and copper-containing proteins. We will end with an outlook of future developments.

  20. Complex structural dynamics of nanocatalysts revealed in Operando conditions by correlated imaging and spectroscopy probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; Zakharov, D.; Zhao, S.; Tappero, R.; Jung, U.; Elsen, A.; Baumann, Ph.; Nuzzo, R. G.; Stach, E. A.; Frenkel, A. I.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding how heterogeneous catalysts change size, shape and structure during chemical reactions is limited by the paucity of methods for studying catalytic ensembles in working state, that is, in operando conditions. Here by a correlated use of synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy in operando conditions, we quantitatively describe the complex structural dynamics of supported Pt catalysts exhibited during an exemplary catalytic reaction--ethylene hydrogenation. This work exploits a microfabricated catalytic reactor compatible with both probes. The results demonstrate dynamic transformations of the ensemble of Pt clusters that spans a broad size range throughout changing reaction conditions. This method is generalizable to quantitative operando studies of complex systems using a wide variety of X-ray and electron-based experimental probes.

  1. 3-D structures of crack-tip dislocations and their shielding effect revealed by electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Masaki; Honda, Masaki; Sadamatsu, Sunao; Higashida, Kenji

    2010-08-01

    Three-dimensional structures of crack-tip dislocations in silicon crystals have been examined by combining scanning transmission electron microscopy and computed tomography. Cracks were introduced by a Vickers hardness tester at room temperature, and the sample was heated at 823 K for 1 h in order to introduce dislocations around the crack tips. Dislocation segments cut out from loops were observed around the crack tip, the three-dimensional structure of which was characterized by using by electron tomography. Their Burgers vectors including the sings were also determined by oscillating contrasts along dislocations. In order to investigate the effect of the dislocations on fracture behaviours, local stress intensity factor due to one dislocation was calculated, which indicates the dislocations observed were shielding type to increase fracture toughness.

  2. Elements of the Chicxulub Impact Structure as Revealed in SRTM and Surface GPS Topographic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsland, Gary L.; Sanchez, Gary; Kobrick, Michael; Cardador, Manuel Hurtado

    2003-01-01

    Pope et al. [1] utilized the elevations from the Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) gravity data files to show that the main component of the surface expression of the Chicxulub Impact Structure is a roughly semi-circular, lowrelief depression about 90 km in diameter. They also identified other topographic features and the elements of the buried impact, which possibly led to the development of these features. These are summarized in Table 1. Kinsland et al. [2] presented a connection between these topographic anomalies, small gravity anomalies and buried structure of the impact. Very recently we have acquired digital topography data from NASA s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Our subset covers 6 square degrees from 20deg N 91degW to 22deg N 88degW (corner to corner) with a pixel size of about 90m. This area includes all of the identified portion of the crater on land.

  3. Structural basis for PPAR partial or full activation revealed by a novel ligand binding mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capelli, Davide; Cerchia, Carmen; Montanari, Roberta; Loiodice, Fulvio; Tortorella, Paolo; Laghezza, Antonio; Cervoni, Laura; Pochetti, Giorgio; Lavecchia, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed PPARγ full agonists, is considered the major challenge for the pharmaceutical companies. Here we present a structure-based virtual screening approach that let us identify a novel PPAR pan-agonist with a very attractive activity profile and its crystal structure in the complex with PPARα and PPARγ, respectively. In PPARα this ligand occupies a new pocket whose filling is allowed by the ligand-induced switching of the F273 side chain from a closed to an open conformation. The comparison between this pocket and the corresponding cavity in PPARγ provides a rationale for the different activation of the ligand towards PPARα and PPARγ, suggesting a novel basis for ligand design.

  4. The Crystal Structure of Streptococcus pyogenes Uridine Phosphorylase Reveals a Distinct Subfamily of Nucleoside Phosphorylases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tran, Timothy H.; Christoffersen, S.; Allan, Paula W.; Parker, William B.; Piskur, Jure; Serra, I.; Terreni, M.; Ealick, Steven E. (Cornell); (Pavia); (Lund); (Southern Research)

    2011-09-20

    Uridine phosphorylase (UP), a key enzyme in the pyrimidine salvage pathway, catalyzes the reversible phosphorolysis of uridine or 2'-deoxyuridine to uracil and ribose 1-phosphate or 2'-deoxyribose 1-phosphate. This enzyme belongs to the nucleoside phosphorylase I superfamily whose members show diverse specificity for nucleoside substrates. Phylogenetic analysis shows Streptococcus pyogenes uridine phosphorylase (SpUP) is found in a distinct branch of the pyrimidine subfamily of nucleoside phosphorylases. To further characterize SpUP, we determined the crystal structure in complex with the products, ribose 1-phosphate and uracil, at 1.8 {angstrom} resolution. Like Escherichia coli UP (EcUP), the biological unit of SpUP is a hexamer with an ?/? monomeric fold. A novel feature of the active site is the presence of His169, which structurally aligns with Arg168 of the EcUP structure. A second active site residue, Lys162, is not present in previously determined UP structures and interacts with O2 of uracil. Biochemical studies of wild-type SpUP showed that its substrate specificity is similar to that of EcUP, while EcUP is {approx}7-fold more efficient than SpUP. Biochemical studies of SpUP mutants showed that mutations of His169 reduced activity, while mutation of Lys162 abolished all activity, suggesting that the negative charge in the transition state resides mostly on uracil O2. This is in contrast to EcUP for which transition state stabilization occurs mostly at O4.

  5. Agarose gel shift assay reveals that calreticulin favors substrates with a quaternary structure in solution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boelt, Sanne Grundvad; Houen, Gunnar; Højrup, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Here we present an agarose gel shift assay that, in contrast to other electrophoresis approaches, is loaded in the center of the gel. This allows proteins to migrate in either direction according to their isoelectric points. Therefore, the presented assay enables a direct visualization, separation...... structure. It is also demonstrated that the agarose gel shift assay is useful in the study of other protein interactions and can be used as an alternative method to native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis....

  6. Microsatellites Reveal a High Population Structure in Triatoma infestans from Chuquisaca, Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizarro, Juan Carlos; Gilligan, Lauren M.; Stevens, Lori

    2008-01-01

    Background For Chagas disease, the most serious infectious disease in the Americas, effective disease control depends on elimination of vectors through spraying with insecticides. Molecular genetic research can help vector control programs by identifying and characterizing vector populations and then developing effective intervention strategies. Methods and Findings The population genetic structure of Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), the main vector of Chagas disease in Bolivia, was investigated using a hierarchical sampling strategy. A total of 230 adults and nymphs from 23 localities throughout the department of Chuquisaca in Southern Bolivia were analyzed at ten microsatellite loci. Population structure, estimated using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) to estimate FST (infinite alleles model) and RST (stepwise mutation model), was significant between western and eastern regions within Chuquisaca and between insects collected in domestic and peri-domestic habitats. Genetic differentiation at three different hierarchical geographic levels was significant, even in the case of adjacent households within a single locality (RST = 0.14, FST = 0.07). On the largest geographic scale, among five communities up to 100 km apart, RST = 0.12 and FST = 0.06. Cluster analysis combined with assignment tests identified five clusters within the five communities. Conclusions Some houses are colonized by insects from several genetic clusters after spraying, whereas other households are colonized predominately by insects from a single cluster. Significant population structure, measured by both RST and FST, supports the hypothesis of poor dispersal ability and/or reduced migration of T. infestans. The high degree of genetic structure at small geographic scales, inferences from cluster analysis and assignment tests, and demographic data suggest reinfesting vectors are coming from nearby and from recrudescence (hatching of eggs that were laid before

  7. Structures of YAP protein domains reveal promising targets for development of new cancer drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudol, Marius; Shields, Denis C; Farooq, Amjad

    2012-09-01

    YAP (Yes-associated protein) is a potent oncogene and a major effector of the mammalian Hippo tumor suppressor pathway. In this review, our emphasis is on the structural basis of how YAP recognizes its various cellular partners. In particular, we discuss the role of LATS kinase and AMOTL1 junction protein, two key cellular partners of YAP that bind to its WW domain, in mediating cytoplasmic localization of YAP and thereby playing a key role in the regulation of its transcriptional activity. Importantly, the crystal structure of an amino-terminal domain of YAP in complex with the carboxy-terminal domain of TEAD transcription factor was only recently solved at atomic resolution, while the structure of WW domain of YAP in complex with a peptide containing the PPxY motif has been available for more than a decade. We discuss how such structural information may be exploited for the rational development of novel anti-cancer therapeutics harboring greater efficacy coupled with low toxicity. We also embark on a brief discussion of how recent in silico studies led to identification of the cardiac glycoside digitoxin as a potential modulator of WW domain-ligand interactions. Conversely, dobutamine was identified in a screen of known drugs as a compound that promotes cytoplasmic localization of YAP, thereby resulting in growth suppressing activity. Finally, we discuss how a recent study on the dynamics of WW domain folding on a biologically critical time scale may provide a tool to generate repertoires of WW domain variants for regulation of the Hippo pathway toward desired, non-oncogenic outputs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Protein Secondary Structure and Orientation in Silk as Revealed by Raman Spectromicroscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Rousseau, Marie-Eve; Pézolet, Michel

    2007-01-01

    Taking advantage of recent advances in polarized Raman microspectroscopy, and based on a rational decomposition of the amide I band, the conformation and orientation of proteins have been determined for cocoon silks of the silkworms Bombyx mori and Samia cynthia ricini and dragline silks of the spiders Nephila clavipes and Nephila edulis. This study distinguished between band components due to β-sheets, β-turns, 31-helices, and unordered structure for the four fibers. For B. mori, the β-sheet...

  9. Large-scale brain network abnormalities in Huntington's disease revealed by structural covariance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkova, Lora; Eickhoff, Simon B; Abdulkadir, Ahmed; Kaller, Christoph P; Peter, Jessica; Scheller, Elisa; Lahr, Jacob; Roos, Raymund A; Durr, Alexandra; Leavitt, Blair R; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Klöppel, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that can be diagnosed with certainty decades before symptom onset. Studies using structural MRI have identified grey matter (GM) loss predominantly in the striatum, but also involving various cortical areas. So far, voxel-based morphometric studies have examined each brain region in isolation and are thus unable to assess the changes in the interrelation of brain regions. Here, we examined the structural covariance in GM volumes in pre-specified motor, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and social-affective networks in 99 patients with manifest HD (mHD), 106 presymptomatic gene mutation carriers (pre-HD), and 108 healthy controls (HC). After correction for global differences in brain volume, we found that increased GM volume in one region was associated with increased GM volume in another. When statistically comparing the groups, no differences between HC and pre-HD were observed, but increased positive correlations were evident for mHD, relative to pre-HD and HC. These findings could be explained by a HD-related neuronal loss heterogeneously affecting the examined network at the pre-HD stage, which starts to dominate structural covariance globally at the manifest stage. Follow-up analyses identified structural connections between frontoparietal motor regions to be linearly modified by disease burden score (DBS). Moderator effects of disease load burden became significant at a DBS level typically associated with the onset of unequivocal HD motor signs. Together with existing findings from functional connectivity analyses, our data indicates a critical role of these frontoparietal regions for the onset of HD motor signs.

  10. Traveling salesman problems with PageRank Distance on complex networks reveal community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhongzhou; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shuai

    2016-12-01

    In this paper, we propose a new algorithm for community detection problems (CDPs) based on traveling salesman problems (TSPs), labeled as TSP-CDA. Since TSPs need to find a tour with minimum cost, cities close to each other are usually clustered in the tour. This inspired us to model CDPs as TSPs by taking each vertex as a city. Then, in the final tour, the vertices in the same community tend to cluster together, and the community structure can be obtained by cutting the tour into a couple of paths. There are two challenges. The first is to define a suitable distance between each pair of vertices which can reflect the probability that they belong to the same community. The second is to design a suitable strategy to cut the final tour into paths which can form communities. In TSP-CDA, we deal with these two challenges by defining a PageRank Distance and an automatic threshold-based cutting strategy. The PageRank Distance is designed with the intrinsic properties of CDPs in mind, and can be calculated efficiently. In the experiments, benchmark networks with 1000-10,000 nodes and varying structures are used to test the performance of TSP-CDA. A comparison is also made between TSP-CDA and two well-established community detection algorithms. The results show that TSP-CDA can find accurate community structure efficiently and outperforms the two existing algorithms.

  11. Mass spectrometry footprinting reveals the structural rearrangements of cyanobacterial orange carotenoid protein upon light activation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Haijun [Washington University; Zhang, Hao [Washington University; King, Jeremy D. [Washington University; Wolf, Nathan R. [Washington University; Prado, Mindy [Washington University; Gross, Michael L. [Washington University; Blankenship, Robert E. [Washington University

    2014-12-01

    The orange carotenoid protein (OCP), a member of the family of blue light photoactive proteins, is required for efficient photoprotection in many cyanobacteria. Photoexcitation of the carotenoid in the OCP results in structural changes within the chromophore and the protein to give an active red form of OCP that is required for phycobilisome binding and consequent fluorescence quenching. We characterized the light-dependent structural changes by mass spectrometry-based carboxyl footprinting and found that an α helix in the N-terminal extension of OCP plays a key role in this photoactivation process. Although this helix is located on and associates with the outside of the β-sheet core in the C-terminal domain of OCP in the dark, photoinduced changes in the domain structure disrupt this interaction. We propose that this mechanism couples light-dependent carotenoid conformational changes to global protein conformational dynamics in favor of functional phycobilisome binding, and is an essential part of the OCP photocycle.

  12. Correlation in the sequential evolutionary pattern of influenza hemagglutinin reveals its immunogenic and structural characters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Keyao; Deem, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The immune system recognizes the hemagglutinin (HA) protein on the surface of the influenza virus. It is this protein that evolves to escape immune recognition. Correlation analysis is performed for all pairs of positions in the alignment of HA sequences collected in history. Spectral decomposition of the resulting matrix yields several independent eigenvectors that clusters those positions into several sectors, each of which corresponds to a subset of the positions and follows a relatively independent evolutionary pattern. Some of the obtained sectors match well with the five experimentally and statistically (using Shannon entropy) determined epitopes that are the sites of antibody binding. This result implies that different immunogenic epitopes of HA have characteristic patterns of escape mutation, arguably due to the distinct structures of the epitopes and properties of corresponding antibodies. In the three dimensional structure of HA, each sector is located in a compact surface region, thus the correlations in the evolution pattern occur locally in the tertiary structure. Novel sectors found, beyond the five known HA epitopes, may also possess certain biophysical functions.

  13. Altered Brain Network Segregation in Fragile X Syndrome Revealed by Structural Connectomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Jennifer Lynn; Hosseini, S M Hadi; Saggar, Manish; Quintin, Eve-Marie; Raman, Mira Michelle; Reiss, Allan L

    2016-03-22

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder, is associated with significant behavioral, social, and neurocognitive deficits. Understanding structural brain network topology in FXS provides an important link between neurobiological and behavioral/cognitive symptoms of this disorder. We investigated the connectome via whole-brain structural networks created from group-level morphological correlations. Participants included 100 individuals: 50 with FXS and 50 with typical development, age 11-23 years. Results indicated alterations in topological properties of structural brain networks in individuals with FXS. Significantly reduced small-world index indicates a shift in the balance between network segregation and integration and significantly reduced clustering coefficient suggests that reduced local segregation shifted this balance. Caudate and amygdala were less interactive in the FXS network further highlighting the importance of subcortical region alterations in the neurobiological signature of FXS. Modularity analysis indicates that FXS and typically developing groups' networks decompose into different sets of interconnected sub networks, potentially indicative of aberrant local interconnectivity in individuals with FXS. These findings advance our understanding of the effects of fragile X mental retardation protein on large-scale brain networks and could be used to develop a connectome-level biological signature for FXS.

  14. Thermal annealing of carbon nanotubes reveals a toxicological impact of the structural defects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Figarol, Agathe, E-mail: figarol@emse.fr [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, SPIN-EMSE, CNRS: UMR 5307, LGF (France); Pourchez, Jérémie, E-mail: pourchez@emse.fr [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, CIS-EMSE, EA 4624, SFR IFRESIS, LINA (France); Boudard, Delphine [Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne, EA 4624, SFR IFRESIS, LINA (France); Forest, Valérie [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, CIS-EMSE, EA 4624, SFR IFRESIS, LINA (France); Berhanu, Sarah [Armines - Mines ParisTech, Centre des Matériaux, CNRS UMR 7633 (France); Tulliani, Jean-Marc [Politecnico di Torino, Department of Applied Science and Technology (Italy); Lecompte, Jean-Pierre [Centre Européen de la céramique CNRS: UMR 7315, SPCTS (France); Cottier, Michèle [Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne, EA 4624, SFR IFRESIS, LINA (France); Bernache-Assollant, Didier [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, CIS-EMSE, EA 4624, SFR IFRESIS, LINA (France); Grosseau, Philippe [Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, SPIN-EMSE, CNRS: UMR 5307, LGF (France)

    2015-04-15

    The biological response to pristine and annealed multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) was assessed on murine macrophages (RAW 264.7). First, the physicochemical features of the as-produced MWCNT and annealed at 2125 °C for 1 h were fully characterized. A decrease in structural defects, hydrophobicity and catalytic impurities was detected after annealing. Thereafter, their impact on cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and pro-inflammatory response was investigated at concentrations ranging from 15 to 120 µg mL{sup −1}. No effect of the 2125 °C treatment was detected on the cytotoxicity. In contrast, the annealed carbon nanotubes showed a significant increase of the pro-inflammatory response. We assumed that this behavior was due to the reduction in structural defects that may modify the layer of adsorbed biomolecules. Surprisingly, the purification of metallic catalysts did not have any significant impact on the oxidative stress. We suggested that the structural improvements from the 2125 °C treatment can decrease the carbon nanotube scavenging capacity and thus allow a higher free radical release which may counterbalance the decrease of oxidative stress due to a lower content of metallic impurities.

  15. Structure of the Cyanuric Acid Hydrolase TrzD Reveals Product Exit Channel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bera, Asim K.; Aukema, Kelly G.; Elias, Mikael; Wackett, Lawrence P.

    2017-03-27

    Cyanuric acid hydrolases are of industrial importance because of their use in aquatic recreational facilities to remove cyanuric acid, a stabilizer for the chlorine. Degradation of excess cyanuric acid is necessary to maintain chlorine disinfection in the waters. Cyanuric acid hydrolase opens the cyanuric acid ring hydrolytically and subsequent decarboxylation produces carbon dioxide and biuret. In the present study, we report the X-ray structure of TrzD, a cyanuric acid hydrolase from Acidovorax citrulli. The crystal structure at 2.19 Å resolution shows a large displacement of the catalytic lysine (Lys163) in domain 2 away from the active site core, whereas the two other active site lysines from the two other domains are not able to move. The lysine displacement is proposed here to open up a channel for product release. Consistent with that, the structure also showed two molecules of the co-product, carbon dioxide, one in the active site and another trapped in the proposed exit channel. Previous data indicated that the domain 2 lysine residue plays a role in activating an adjacent serine residue carrying out nucleophilic attack, opening the cyanuric acid ring, and the mobile lysine guides products through the exit channel.

  16. Potential for Reduction of Streptogramin A Resistance Revealed by Structural Analysis of Acetyltransferase VatA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stogios, Peter J.; Kuhn, Misty L.; Evdokimova, Elena; Courvalin, Patrice; Anderson, Wayne F.

    2014-01-01

    Combinations of group A and B streptogramins (i.e., dalfopristin and quinupristin) are “last-resort” antibiotics for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. Resistance to streptogramins has arisen via multiple mechanisms, including the deactivation of the group A component by the large family of virginiamycin O-acetyltransferase (Vat) enzymes. Despite the structural elucidation performed for the VatD acetyltransferase, which provided a general molecular framework for activity, a detailed characterization of the essential catalytic and antibiotic substrate-binding determinants in Vat enzymes is still lacking. We have determined the crystal structure of S. aureus VatA in apo, virginiamycin M1- and acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA)-bound forms and provide an extensive mutagenesis and functional analysis of the structural determinants required for catalysis and streptogramin A recognition. Based on an updated genomic survey across the Vat enzyme family, we identified key conserved residues critical for VatA activity that are not part of the O-acetylation catalytic apparatus. Exploiting such constraints of the Vat active site may lead to the development of streptogramin A compounds that evade inactivation by Vat enzymes while retaining binding to their ribosomal target. PMID:25223995

  17. Microsatellites loci reveal heterozygosis and population structure in vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Nava, Claudia; León-Paniagua, Livia; Ortega, Jorge

    2014-06-01

    A limited number of studies have focused on the population genetic structure of vampire bats (Desmous rotundus) in America. This medium-sized bat is distributed in tropical areas of the continent with high prevalence in forested livestock areas. The aim of this work was to characterize the vampire population structure and their genetic differentiation. For this, we followed standard methods by which live vampires (caught by mist-netting) and preserved material from scientific collections, were obtained for a total of 15 different locations, ranging from Chihuahua (North) to Quintana Roo (Southeast). Tissue samples were obtained from both live and collected animals, and the genetic differentiation, within and among localities, was assessed by the use of seven microsatellite loci. Our results showed that all loci were polymorphic and no private alleles were detected. High levels of heterozygosis were detected when the proportion of alleles in each locus were compared. Pairwise (ST) and R(ST) detected significant genetic differentiation among individuals from different localities. Our population structure results indicate the presence of eleven clusters, with a high percentage of assigned individuals to some specific collecting site.

  18. Structural and functional insights into caseinolytic proteases reveal an unprecedented regulation principle of their catalytic triad.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeiler, Evelyn; List, Anja; Alte, Ferdinand; Gersch, Malte; Wachtel, Rudolf; Poreba, Marcin; Drag, Marcin; Groll, Michael; Sieber, Stephan A

    2013-07-09

    Caseinolytic proteases (ClpPs) are large oligomeric protein complexes that contribute to cell homeostasis as well as virulence regulation in bacteria. Although most organisms possess a single ClpP protein, some organisms encode two or more ClpP isoforms. Here, we elucidated the crystal structures of ClpP1 and ClpP2 from pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes and observe an unprecedented regulation principle by the catalytic triad. Whereas L. monocytogenes (Lm)ClpP2 is both structurally and functionally similar to previously studied tetradecameric ClpP proteins from Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, heptameric LmClpP1 features an asparagine in its catalytic triad. Mutation of this asparagine to aspartate increased the reactivity of the active site and led to the assembly of a tetradecameric complex. We analyzed the heterooligomeric complex of LmClpP1 and LmClpP2 via coexpression and subsequent labeling studies with natural product-derived probes. Notably, the LmClpP1 peptidase activity is stimulated 75-fold in the complex providing insights into heterooligomerization as a regulatory mechanism. Collectively, our data point toward different preferences for substrates and inhibitors of the two ClpP enzymes and highlight their structural and functional characteristics.

  19. Observational Features of Large-Scale Structures as Revealed by the Catastrophe Model of Solar Eruptions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Large-scale magnetic structures are the main carrier of major eruptions in the solar atmosphere. These structures are rooted in the photosphere and are driven by the unceasing motion of the photospheric material through a series of equilibrium configurations. The motion brings energy into the coronal magnetic field until the system ceases to be in equilibrium. The catastrophe theory for solar eruptions indicates that loss of mechanical equilibrium constitutes the main trigger mechanism of major eruptions, usually shown up as solar flares,eruptive prominences, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Magnetic reconnection which takes place at the very beginning of the eruption as a result of plasma instabilities/turbulence inside the current sheet, converts magnetic energy into heating and kinetic energy that are responsible for solar flares, and for accelerating both plasma ejecta (flows and CMEs) and energetic particles. Various manifestations are thus related to one another, and the physics behind these relationships is catastrophe and magnetic reconnection. This work reports on recent progress in both theoretical research and observations on eruptive phenomena showing the above manifestations. We start by displaying the properties of large-scale structures in the corona and the related magnetic fields prior to an eruption, and show various morphological features of the disrupting magnetic fields. Then, in the framework of the catastrophe theory,we look into the physics behind those features investigated in a succession of previous works,and discuss the approaches they used.

  20. Light-harvesting features revealed by the structure of plant Photosystem I

    CERN Document Server

    Ben-Shem, A; Nelson, N; 10.1023/B:PRES.0000036881.23512.42

    2004-01-01

    Oxygenic photosynthesis is driven by two multi-subunit membrane protein complexes, Photosystem I and Photosystem II. In plants and green algae, both complexes are composed of two moieties: a reaction center (RC), where light-induced charge translocation occurs, and a peripheral antenna that absorbs light and funnels its energy to the reaction center. The peripheral antenna of PS I (LHC I) is composed of four gene products (Lhca 1-4) that are unique among the chlorophyll a/b binding proteins in their pronounced long-wavelength absorbance and in their assembly into dimers. The recently determined structure of plant Photosystem I provides the first relatively high- resolution structural model of a super-complex containing a reaction center and its peripheral antenna. We describe some of the structural features responsible for the unique properties of LHC I and discuss the advantages of the particular LHC I dimerization mode over monomeric or trimeric forms. In addition, we delineate some of the interactions betw...

  1. Microsatellites loci reveal heterozygosis and population structure in vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Romero-Nava

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A limited number of studies have focused on the population genetic structure of vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus in America. This medium-sized bat is distributed in tropical areas of the continent with high prevalence in forested livestock areas. The aim of this work was to characterize the vampire population structure and their genetic differentiation. For this, we followed standard methods by which live vampires (caught by mist-netting and preserved material from scientific collections, were obtained for a total of 15 different locations, ranging from Chihuahua (North to Quintana Roo (Southeast. Tissue samples were obtained from both live and collected animals, and the genetic differentiation, within and among localities, was assessed by the use of seven microsatellite loci. Our results showed that all loci were polymorphic and no private alleles were detected. High levels of heterozygosis were detected when the proportion of alleles in each locus were compared. Pairwise F ST and R ST detected significant genetic differentiation among individuals from different localities. Our population structure results indicate the presence of eleven clusters, with a high percentage of assigned individuals to some specific collecting site. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (2: 659-669. Epub 2014 June 01.

  2. Genetic population structure analysis in New Hampshire reveals Eastern European ancestry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloan, Chantel D; Andrew, Angeline D; Duell, Eric J; Williams, Scott M; Karagas, Margaret R; Moore, Jason H

    2009-09-07

    Genetic structure due to ancestry has been well documented among many divergent human populations. However, the ability to associate ancestry with genetic substructure without using supervised clustering has not been explored in more presumably homogeneous and admixed US populations. The goal of this study was to determine if genetic structure could be detected in a United States population from a single state where the individuals have mixed European ancestry. Using Bayesian clustering with a set of 960 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) we found evidence of population stratification in 864 individuals from New Hampshire that can be used to differentiate the population into six distinct genetic subgroups. We then correlated self-reported ancestry of the individuals with the Bayesian clustering results. Finnish and Russian/Polish/Lithuanian ancestries were most notably found to be associated with genetic substructure. The ancestral results were further explained and substantiated using New Hampshire census data from 1870 to 1930 when the largest waves of European immigrants came to the area. We also discerned distinct patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between the genetic groups in the growth hormone receptor gene (GHR). To our knowledge, this is the first time such an investigation has uncovered a strong link between genetic structure and ancestry in what would otherwise be considered a homogenous US population.

  3. Protein secondary structure and orientation in silk as revealed by Raman spectromicroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Rousseau, Marie-Eve; Pézolet, Michel

    2007-04-15

    Taking advantage of recent advances in polarized Raman microspectroscopy, and based on a rational decomposition of the amide I band, the conformation and orientation of proteins have been determined for cocoon silks of the silkworms Bombyx mori and Samia cynthia ricini and dragline silks of the spiders Nephila clavipes and Nephila edulis. This study distinguished between band components due to beta-sheets, beta-turns, 3(1)-helices, and unordered structure for the four fibers. For B. mori, the beta-sheet content is 50%, which matches the proportion of residues that form the GAGAGS fibroin motifs. For the Nephila dragline and S. c. ricini cocoon, the beta-sheet content (36-37% and 45%, respectively) is higher than the proportion of residues that belong to polyalanine blocks (18% and 42%, respectively), showing that adjacent GGA motifs are incorporated into the beta-sheets. Nephila spidroins contain fewer beta-sheets and more flexible secondary structures than silkworm fibroins. The amorphous polypeptide chains are preferentially aligned parallel to the fiber direction, although their level of orientation is much lower than that of beta-sheets. Overall, the results show that the four silks exhibit a common molecular organization, with mixtures of different amounts of beta-sheets and flexible structures, which are organized with specific orientation levels.

  4. Structures of human folate receptors reveal biological trafficking states and diversity in folate and antifolate recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wibowo, Ardian S; Singh, Mirage; Reeder, Kristen M; Carter, Joshua J; Kovach, Alexander R; Meng, Wuyi; Ratnam, Manohar; Zhang, Faming; Dann, Charles E

    2013-09-17

    Antifolates, folate analogs that inhibit vitamin B9 (folic acid)-using cellular enzymes, have been used over several decades for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Cellular uptake of the antifolates in clinical use occurs primarily via widely expressed facilitative membrane transporters. More recently, human folate receptors (FRs), high affinity receptors that transport folate via endocytosis, have been proposed as targets for the specific delivery of new classes of antifolates or folate conjugates to tumors or sites of inflammation. The development of specific, FR-targeted antifolates would be accelerated if additional biophysical data, particularly structural models of the receptors, were available. Here we describe six distinct crystallographic models that provide insight into biological trafficking of FRs and distinct binding modes of folate and antifolates to these receptors. From comparison of the structures, we delineate discrete structural conformations representative of key stages in the endocytic trafficking of FRs and propose models for pH-dependent conformational changes. Additionally, we describe the molecular details of human FR in complex with three clinically prevalent antifolates, pemetrexed (also Alimta), aminopterin, and methotrexate. On the whole, our data form the basis for rapid design and implementation of unique, FR-targeted, folate-based drugs for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.

  5. The Leeuwenhoek lecture 2006. Microscopy goes cold: frozen viruses reveal their structural secrets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, R A

    2008-07-27

    The electron microscope provides a powerful tool for investigating the structure of biological complexes such as viruses. A modern instrument is fully capable of atomic resolution on suitable non-biological specimens, but biological materials are difficult to preserve, owing to their fragility, and to image, owing to their radiation, sensitivity. The act of imaging the specimen severely damages it. Originally, samples were prepared by staining with a heavy metal salt, which provides a stable specimen but limits the amount of details that can be retrieved. Now particulate specimens, such as viruses, are prepared by rapid freezing of unstained material and observed in a frozen state with low doses of electrons. The resulting images require extensive computer processing to extract fully detailed three-dimensional information about the specimen. The whole process is referred to as single-particle electron cryomicroscopy. Using this approach, the structure of the human hepatitis B virus core was solved at the level of the protein fold. By comparing maps of RNA- and DNA-containing cores, it was possible to propose a model for the maturation and control of the envelopment of the virus during assembly. These examples show that cryomicroscopy offers great potential for understanding the structure and function of complex biological assemblies.

  6. Structural Angle and Power Images Reveal Interrelated Gray and White Matter Abnormalities in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lai Xu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a feature extraction method to emphasize the interrelationship between gray and white matter and identify tissue distribution abnormalities in schizophrenia. This approach utilizes novel features called structural phase and magnitude images. The phase image indicates the relative contribution of gray and white matter, and the magnitude image reflects the overall tissue concentration. Three different analyses are applied to the phase and magnitude images obtained from 120 healthy controls and 120 schizophrenia patients. First, a single-subject subtraction analysis is computed for an initial evaluation. Second, we analyze the extracted features using voxel based morphometry (VBM to detect voxelwise group differences. Third, source based morphometry (SBM analysis was used to determine abnormalities in structural networks that co-vary in a similar way. Six networks were identified showing significantly lower white-to-gray matter in schizophrenia, including thalamus, right precentral-postcentral, left pre/post-central, parietal, right cuneus-frontal, and left cuneus-frontal sources. Interestingly, some networks look similar to functional patterns, such as sensory-motor and vision. Our findings demonstrate that structural phase and magnitude images can naturally and efficiently summarize the associated relationship between gray and white matter. Our approach has wide applicability for studying tissue distribution differences in the healthy and diseased brain.

  7. Structural angle and power images reveal interrelated gray and white matter abnormalities in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lai; Adali, Tülay; Schretlen, David; Pearlson, Godfrey; Calhoun, Vince D

    2012-01-01

    We present a feature extraction method to emphasize the interrelationship between gray and white matter and identify tissue distribution abnormalities in schizophrenia. This approach utilizes novel features called structural phase and magnitude images. The phase image indicates the relative contribution of gray and white matter, and the magnitude image reflects the overall tissue concentration. Three different analyses are applied to the phase and magnitude images obtained from 120 healthy controls and 120 schizophrenia patients. First, a single-subject subtraction analysis is computed for an initial evaluation. Second, we analyze the extracted features using voxel based morphometry (VBM) to detect voxelwise group differences. Third, source based morphometry (SBM) analysis was used to determine abnormalities in structural networks that co-vary in a similar way. Six networks were identified showing significantly lower white-to-gray matter in schizophrenia, including thalamus, right precentral-postcentral, left pre/post-central, parietal, right cuneus-frontal, and left cuneus-frontal sources. Interestingly, some networks look similar to functional patterns, such as sensory-motor and vision. Our findings demonstrate that structural phase and magnitude images can naturally and efficiently summarize the associated relationship between gray and white matter. Our approach has wide applicability for studying tissue distribution differences in the healthy and diseased brain.

  8. The structure of bradyzoite-specific enolase from Toxoplasma gondii reveals insights into its dual cytoplasmic and nuclear functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruan, Jiapeng [Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Morton 7-601, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); Mouveaux, Thomas [Université Lille Nord de France, (France); Light, Samuel H.; Minasov, George; Anderson, Wayne F. [Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Morton 7-601, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); Tomavo, Stanislas [Université Lille Nord de France, (France); Ngô, Huân M., E-mail: h-ngo@northwestern.edu [Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Morton 7-601, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); BrainMicro LLC, 21 Pendleton Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The second crystal structure of a parasite protein preferentially enriched in the brain cyst of T. gondii has been solved at 2.75 Å resolution. Bradyzoite enolase 1 is reported to have differential functions as a glycolytic enzyme and a transcriptional regulator in bradyzoites. In addition to catalyzing a central step in glycolysis, enolase assumes a remarkably diverse set of secondary functions in different organisms, including transcription regulation as documented for the oncogene c-Myc promoter-binding protein 1. The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii differentially expresses two nuclear-localized, plant-like enolases: enolase 1 (TgENO1) in the latent bradyzoite cyst stage and enolase 2 (TgENO2) in the rapidly replicative tachyzoite stage. A 2.75 Å resolution crystal structure of bradyzoite enolase 1, the second structure to be reported of a bradyzoite-specific protein in Toxoplasma, captures an open conformational state and reveals that distinctive plant-like insertions are located on surface loops. The enolase 1 structure reveals that a unique residue, Glu164, in catalytic loop 2 may account for the lower activity of this cyst-stage isozyme. Recombinant TgENO1 specifically binds to a TTTTCT DNA motif present in the cyst matrix antigen 1 (TgMAG1) gene promoter as demonstrated by gel retardation. Furthermore, direct physical interactions of both nuclear TgENO1 and TgENO2 with the TgMAG1 gene promoter are demonstrated in vivo using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Structural and biochemical studies reveal that T. gondii enolase functions are multifaceted, including the coordination of gene regulation in parasitic stage development. Enolase 1 provides a potential lead in the design of drugs against Toxoplasma brain cysts.

  9. QUOTUS: The Structure of Political Media Coverage as Revealed by Quoting Patterns

    CERN Document Server

    Niculae, Vlad; Zhang, Justine; Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Cristian; Leskovec, Jure

    2015-01-01

    Given the extremely large pool of events and stories available, media outlets need to focus on a subset of issues and aspects to convey to their audience. Outlets are often accused of exhibiting a systematic bias in this selection process, with different outlets portraying different versions of reality. However, in the absence of objective measures and empirical evidence, the direction and extent of systematicity remains widely disputed. In this paper we propose a framework based on quoting patterns for quantifying and characterizing the degree to which media outlets exhibit systematic bias. We apply this framework to a massive dataset of news articles spanning the six years of Obama's presidency and all of his speeches, and reveal that a systematic pattern does indeed emerge from the outlet's quoting behavior. Moreover, we show that this pattern can be successfully exploited in an unsupervised prediction setting, to determine which new quotes an outlet will select to broadcast. By encoding bias patterns in a...

  10. The complete primary structure of Cw*1701 reveals a highly divergent HLA class I molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, M J; Vilches, C; de Pablo, R; Puente, S; Kreisler, M

    1997-03-01

    Genotyping of the HLA-C locus by PCR-SSP has previously shown 100% association of B41 and B42 with a new allelic variant. Partial sequencing studies (exons 2-4) demonstrated that this PCR-SSP variant corresponded to the new allele Cw*1701. In this study we have characterized the whole coding region of Cw*1701 from a Bubi individual of Equatorial Guinea. Our results partially confirm the previously reported sequence and reveal that Cw*1701 has many new polymorphisms at several exons, including a 18-bp insertion in exon 5. Cw*1701 is thus a most unusual HLA-C molecule defining a third allelic lineage of this locus.

  11. The structures of Arabidopsis Deg5 and Deg8 reveal new insights into HtrA proteases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Wei [Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049 (China); Gao, Feng [Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101 (China); Fan, Haitian; Shan, Xiaoyue [Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049 (China); Sun, Renhua [Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Haidian District, Beijing 100093 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049 (China); Liu, Lin, E-mail: liulin@ibcas.ac.cn [Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Haidian District, Beijing 100093 (China); Gong, Weimin, E-mail: liulin@ibcas.ac.cn [Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101 (China)

    2013-05-01

    The crystal structures of Arabidopsis Deg5 and Deg8 have been determined to resolutions of 2.6 and 2.0 Å, respectively, revealing novel structural features of HtrA proteases. Plant Deg5 and Deg8 are two members of the HtrA proteases, a family of oligomeric serine endopeptidases that are involved in a variety of protein quality-control processes. These two HtrA proteases are located in the thylakoid lumen and participate in high-light stress responses by collaborating with other chloroplast proteins. Deg5 and Deg8 degrade photodamaged D1 protein of the photosystem II reaction centre, allowing its in situ replacement. Here, the crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana Deg5 (S266A) and Deg8 (S292A) are reported at 2.6 and 2.0 Å resolution, respectively. The Deg5 trimer contains two calcium ions in a central channel, suggesting a link between photodamage control and calcium ions in chloroplasts. Previous structures of HtrA proteases have indicated that their regulation usually requires C-terminal PDZ domain(s). Deg5 is unique in that it contains no PDZ domain and the trimeric structure of Deg5 (S266A) reveals a novel catalytic triad conformation. A similar triad conformation is observed in the hexameric structure of the single PDZ-domain-containing Deg8 (S292A). These findings suggest a novel activation mechanism for plant HtrA proteases and provide structural clues to their function in light-stress response.

  12. AFLP analysis reveals a lack of phylogenetic structure within Solanum section Petota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vleeshouwers Vivianne GAA

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The secondary genepool of our modern cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L. consists of a large number of tuber-bearing wild Solanum species under Solanum section Petota. One of the major taxonomic problems in section Petota is that the series classification (as put forward by Hawkes is problematic and the boundaries of some series are unclear. In addition, the classification has received only partial cladistic support in all molecular studies carried out to date. The aim of the present study is to describe the structure present in section Petota. When possible, at least 5 accessions from each available species and 5 individual plants per accession (totally approx. 5000 plants were genotyped using over 200 AFLP markers. This resulted in the largest dataset ever constructed for Solanum section Petota. The data obtained are used to evaluate the 21 series hypothesis put forward by Hawkes and the 4 clade hypothesis of Spooner and co-workers. Results We constructed a NJ tree for 4929 genotypes. For the other analyses, due to practical reasons, a condensed dataset was created consisting of one representative genotype from each available accession. We show a NJ jackknife and a MP jackknife tree. A large part of both trees consists of a polytomy. Some structure is still visible in both trees, supported by jackknife values above 69. We use these branches with >69 jackknife support in the NJ jackknife tree as a basis for informal species groups. The informal species groups recognized are: Mexican diploids, Acaulia, Iopetala, Longipedicellata, polyploid Conicibaccata, diploid Conicibaccata, Circaeifolia, diploid Piurana and tetraploid Piurana. Conclusion Most of the series that Hawkes and his predecessors designated can not be accepted as natural groups, based on our study. Neither do we find proof for the 4 clades proposed by Spooner and co-workers. A few species groups have high support and their inner structure displays also

  13. Pathway-based outlier method reveals heterogeneous genomic structure of autism in blood transcriptome

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Decades of research strongly suggest that the genetic etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is heterogeneous. However, most published studies focus on group differences between cases and controls. In contrast, we hypothesized that the heterogeneity of the disorder could be characterized by identifying pathways for which individuals are outliers rather than pathways representative of shared group differences of the ASD diagnosis. Methods Two previously published blood gene expression data sets – the Translational Genetics Research Institute (TGen) dataset (70 cases and 60 unrelated controls) and the Simons Simplex Consortium (Simons) dataset (221 probands and 191 unaffected family members) – were analyzed. All individuals of each dataset were projected to biological pathways, and each sample’s Mahalanobis distance from a pooled centroid was calculated to compare the number of case and control outliers for each pathway. Results Analysis of a set of blood gene expression profiles from 70 ASD and 60 unrelated controls revealed three pathways whose outliers were significantly overrepresented in the ASD cases: neuron development including axonogenesis and neurite development (29% of ASD, 3% of control), nitric oxide signaling (29%, 3%), and skeletal development (27%, 3%). Overall, 50% of cases and 8% of controls were outliers in one of these three pathways, which could not be identified using group comparison or gene-level outlier methods. In an independently collected data set consisting of 221 ASD and 191 unaffected family members, outliers in the neurogenesis pathway were heavily biased towards cases (20.8% of ASD, 12.0% of control). Interestingly, neurogenesis outliers were more common among unaffected family members (Simons) than unrelated controls (TGen), but the statistical significance of this effect was marginal (Chi squared P outlier groups were distinct for each implicated pathway. Moreover, our results suggest that by seeking

  14. Planetary-Scale Wave Structures of the Earth’s Atmosphere Revealed from the COSMIC Observations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    P. S. BRAHMANANDAM; G. UMA; A. Narendra BABU; HUANG Ching-Yuang; G. Anil KUMAR; S. Tulasi RAM; WANG Hsiao-Lan; CHU Yen-Hsyang

    2014-01-01

    GPS radio occultation (GPS RO) method, an active satellite-to-satellite remote sensing technique, is capable of producing accurate, all-weather, round the clock, global refractive index, density, pressure, and temperature profiles of the troposphere and stratosphere. This study presents planetary-scale equatorially trapped Kelvin waves in temperature profiles retrieved using COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) satellites during 2006-2009 and their interactions with background atmospheric conditions. It is found that the Kelvin waves are not only associated with wave periods of higher than 10 days (slow Kelvin waves) with higher zonal wave numbers (either 1 or 2), but also possessing downward phase progression, giving evidence that the source regions of them are located at lower altitudes. A thorough verification of outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) reveals that deep convection activity has developed regularly over the Indonesian region, suggesting that the Kelvin waves are driven by the convective activity. The derived Kelvin waves show enhanced (diminished) tendencies during westward (eastward) phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in zonal winds, implying a mutual relation between both of them. The El Ni˜no and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) below 18 km and the QBO features between 18 and 27 km in temperature profiles are observed during May 2006-May 2010 with the help of an adaptive data analysis technique known as Hilbert Huang Transform (HHT). Further, temperature anomalies computed using COSMIC retrieved temperatures are critically evaluated during different phases of ENSO, which has revealed interesting results and are discussed in light of available literature.

  15. Atomistic structural ensemble refinement reveals non-native structure stabilizes a sub-millisecond folding intermediate of CheY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jade; Nobrega, R. Paul; Schwantes, Christian; Kathuria, Sagar V.; Bilsel, Osman; Matthews, C. Robert; Lane, T. J.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2017-03-01

    The dynamics of globular proteins can be described in terms of transitions between a folded native state and less-populated intermediates, or excited states, which can play critical roles in both protein folding and function. Excited states are by definition transient species, and therefore are difficult to characterize using current experimental techniques. Here, we report an atomistic model of the excited state ensemble of a stabilized mutant of an extensively studied flavodoxin fold protein CheY. We employed a hybrid simulation and experimental approach in which an aggregate 42 milliseconds of all-atom molecular dynamics were used as an informative prior for the structure of the excited state ensemble. This prior was then refined against small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data employing an established method (EROS). The most striking feature of the resulting excited state ensemble was an unstructured N-terminus stabilized by non-native contacts in a conformation that is topologically simpler than the native state. Using these results, we then predict incisive single molecule FRET experiments as a means of model validation. This study demonstrates the paradigm of uniting simulation and experiment in a statistical model to study the structure of protein excited states and rationally design validating experiments.

  16. Atomistic structural ensemble refinement reveals non-native structure stabilizes a sub-millisecond folding intermediate of CheY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jade; Nobrega, R. Paul; Schwantes, Christian; Kathuria, Sagar V.; Bilsel, Osman; Matthews, C. Robert; Lane, T. J.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2017-01-01

    The dynamics of globular proteins can be described in terms of transitions between a folded native state and less-populated intermediates, or excited states, which can play critical roles in both protein folding and function. Excited states are by definition transient species, and therefore are difficult to characterize using current experimental techniques. Here, we report an atomistic model of the excited state ensemble of a stabilized mutant of an extensively studied flavodoxin fold protein CheY. We employed a hybrid simulation and experimental approach in which an aggregate 42 milliseconds of all-atom molecular dynamics were used as an informative prior for the structure of the excited state ensemble. This prior was then refined against small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data employing an established method (EROS). The most striking feature of the resulting excited state ensemble was an unstructured N-terminus stabilized by non-native contacts in a conformation that is topologically simpler than the native state. Using these results, we then predict incisive single molecule FRET experiments as a means of model validation. This study demonstrates the paradigm of uniting simulation and experiment in a statistical model to study the structure of protein excited states and rationally design validating experiments. PMID:28272524

  17. Crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment reveals the mechanism for its molecular chaperone activity in UPR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Jiahui; Petrova, Kseniya; Ron, David; Sha, Bingdong

    2010-04-16

    P58(IPK) might function as an endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperone to maintain protein folding homeostasis during unfolded protein responses. P58(IPK) contains nine tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) motifs and a C-terminal J-domain within its primary sequence. To investigate the mechanism by which P58(IPK) functions to promote protein folding within the endoplasmic reticulum, we have determined the crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment to 2.5 A resolution by the SAD method. The crystal structure of P58(IPK) revealed three domains (I-III) with similar folds and each domain contains three TPR motifs. An ELISA assay indicated that P58(IPK) acts as a molecular chaperone by interacting with misfolded proteins such as luciferase and rhodanese. The P58(IPK) structure reveals a conserved hydrophobic patch located in domain I that might be involved in binding the misfolded polypeptides. Structure-based mutagenesis for the conserved hydrophobic residues located in domain I significantly reduced the molecular chaperone activity of P58(IPK).

  18. Crystal Structure of the FGFR4/LY2874455 Complex Reveals Insights into the Pan-FGFR Selectivity of LY2874455.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daichao; Guo, Ming; Philips, Michael A; Qu, Lingzhi; Jiang, Longying; Li, Jun; Chen, Xiaojuan; Chen, Zhuchu; Chen, Lin; Chen, Yongheng

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant FGFR4 signaling has been documented abundantly in various human cancers. The majority of FGFR inhibitors display significantly reduced potency toward FGFR4 compared to FGFR1-3. However, LY2874455 has similar inhibition potency for FGFR1-4 with IC50 less than 6.4 nM. To date, there is no published crystal structure of LY2874455 in complex with any kinase. To better understand the pan-FGFR selectivity of LY2874455, we have determined the crystal structure of the FGFR4 kinase domain bound to LY2874455 at a resolution of 2.35 Å. LY2874455, a type I inhibitor for FGFR4, binds to the ATP-binding pocket of FGFR4 in a DFG-in active conformation with three hydrogen bonds and a number of van der Waals contacts. After alignment of the kinase domain sequence of 4 FGFRs, and superposition of the ATP binding pocket of 4 FGFRs, our structural analyses reveal that the interactions of LY2874455 to FGFR4 are largely conserved in 4 FGFRs, explaining at least partly, the broad inhibitory activity of LY2874455 toward 4 FGFRs. Consequently, our studies reveal new insights into the pan-FGFR selectivity of LY2874455 and provide a structural basis for developing novel FGFR inhibitors that target FGFR1-4 broadly.

  19. Crystal structure of enhanced green fluorescent protein to 1.35 A resolution reveals alternative conformations for Glu222.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A J Arpino

    Full Text Available Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP is one of the most widely used engineered variants of the original wild-type Green Fluorescent Protein. Here, we report the high resolution (1.35 Å structure of EGFP crystallised in its untagged sequence form that reveals the combined impact of the F64L and S65T, that give rise to improved folding and spectral characteristics. The overall structure of EGFP is very similar to wt GFP, forming the classical β-barrel fold with the chromophore containing helix running through the core of the structure. Replacement of Phe64 with Leu in EGFP results in subtle rearrangement of hydrophobic core packing close to the chromophore including the reduction in surface exposure of two hydrophobic residues. Replacement of Ser65 with Thr has a significant impact on the local hydrogen bond network in the vicinity of the chromophore. Detailed analysis of electron density reveals that several residues close to the chromophore occupy at least two distinct conformations. This includes Glu222 that defines the charged state on the chromophore, with the two conformations having slightly different effects on the hydrogen bond network surrounding the chromophore. Hence, the reported high-resolution structure of EGFP has provided a long overdue molecular description of one of the most important fluorescent protein variants currently in general use.

  20. The Structure of Ca2+ Sensor Case16 Reveals the Mechanism of Reaction to Low Ca2+ Concentrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia A. Strukova

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Here we report the first crystal structure of a high-contrast genetically encoded circularly permuted green fluorescent protein (cpGFP-based Ca2+ sensor, Case16, in the presence of a low Ca2+ concentration. The structure reveals the positioning of the chromophore within Case16 at the first stage of the Ca2+-dependent response when only two out of four Ca2+-binding pockets of calmodulin (CaM are occupied with Ca2+ ions. In such a “half Ca2+-bound state”, Case16 is characterized by an incomplete interaction between its CaM-/M13-domains. We also report the crystal structure of the related Ca2+ sensor Case12 at saturating Ca2+ concentration. Based on this structure, we postulate that cpGFP-based Ca2+ sensors can form non-functional homodimers where the CaM-domain of one sensor molecule binds symmetrically to the M13-peptide of the partner sensor molecule. Case12 and Case16 behavior upon addition of high concentrations of free CaM or M13-peptide reveals that the latter effectively blocks the fluorescent response of the sensor. We speculate that the demonstrated intermolecular interaction with endogenous substrates and homodimerization can impede proper functioning of this type of Ca2+ sensors in living cells.

  1. 3D Shallow crustal structure of Madeira island revealed from ambient noise tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matos, C.; Silveira, G. M.; Matias, L. M.; Ribeiro, L.; Dias, N. A.; Caldeira, R.; Rosa, C.; Krueger, F.

    2013-12-01

    Madeira is an intraplate volcanic island, located at the eastern North Atlantic Ocean, in front of the Moroccan cost, with an emerged area of 737 km2 and maximum altitude of 1861 m. Madeira shows an E-W-oriented elongation, which reflects the orientation of its rift zone. Rift zones play a fundamental role in the constitution and evolution of volcanic islands and it is important to image their internal structure as a function of depth. Constrains like source-receiver geometry, irregular seismicity distribution or, for some methods, low seismicity occurrence did not allow to obtain high-resolution models of the Madeira crustal structure using traditional passive seismology. Seismic interferometry/ambient noise surface-waves tomography allows imaging regions with a resolution that mainly depends on the seismic network coverage. From May 2011 to September 2012, a temporary pool of 23 seismometers has been continuously recording at Madeira Island. This deployment was complemented with other local permanent stations. The ambient noise data was processed following five main steps: (1) Data quality control; (2) Cross-correlation of 1 hour time windows between each station pair and subsequent stacking for the entire recording period; (3) Time-frequency analysis to measure group-velocity dispersion curves between 0.5 and 6 seconds; (4) 2D inversion to obtain lateral variations of the Rayleigh-wave group-velocities as function of the period; (5) Group velocity inversion as a function of depth to map the 3D structure beneath Madeira. From the surface to 4 km depth, the edge of the rift, along which the island possibly grow, is well correlated with a strong positive anomaly on our maps. This anomaly seems to be perturbed by the presence of low velocities at a depth of 2 km. After 5 km the rift signature is no longer visible. This work is supported by project QUAKELOC Reference: PTDC/GEO-FIQ/3522/2012

  2. Structure of the nisin leader peptidase NisP revealing a C-terminal autocleavage activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yueyang; Li, Xin; Li, Ruiqing; Li, Shanshan; Ni, Hongqian; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haijin; Zhou, Weihong; Saris, Per E J; Yang, Wen; Qiao, Mingqiang; Rao, Zihe

    2014-06-01

    Nisin is a widely used antibacterial lantibiotic polypeptide produced by Lactococcus lactis. NisP belongs to the subtilase family and functions in the last step of nisin maturation as the leader-peptide peptidase. Deletion of the nisP gene in LAC71 results in the production of a non-active precursor peptide with the leader peptide unremoved. Here, the 1.1 Å resolution crystal structure of NisP is reported. The structure shows similarity to other subtilases, which can bind varying numbers of Ca atoms. However, no calcium was found in this NisP structure, and the predicted calcium-chelating residues were placed so as to not allow NisP to bind a calcium ion in this conformation. Interestingly, a short peptide corresponding to its own 635-647 sequence was found to bind to the active site of NisP. Biochemical assays and native mass-spectrometric analysis confirmed that NisP possesses an auto-cleavage site between residues Arg647 and Ser648. Further, it was shown that NisP mutated at the auto-cleavage site (R647P/S648P) had full catalytic activity for nisin leader-peptide cleavage, although the C-terminal region of NisP was no longer cleaved. Expressing this mutant in L. lactis LAC71 did not affect the production of nisin but did decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria, suggesting the biological significance of the C-terminal auto-cleavage of NisP.

  3. Second-harmonic generation reveals a relationship between metastatic potential and collagen fiber structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Kathleen A.; Dawes, Ryan P.; Cheema, Mehar K.; Perry, Seth; Brown, Edward

    2014-02-01

    Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) of collagen signals allows for the analysis of collagen structural changes throughout metastatic progression. The directionality of coherent SHG signals, measured through the ratio of the forward-propagating to backward propagating signal (F/B ratio), is affected by fibril diameter, spacing, and order versus disorder of fibril packing within a fiber. As tumors interact with their microenvironment and metastasize, it causes changes in these parameters, and concurrent changes in the F/B ratio. Specifically, the F/B ratio of breast tumors that are highly metastatic to the lymph nodes is significantly higher than those in tumors with restricted lymph node involvement. We utilized in vitro analysis of tumor cell motility through collagen gels of different microstructures, and hence different F/B ratios, to explore the relationship between collagen microstructures and metastatic capabilities of the tumor. By manipulating environmental factors of fibrillogenesis and biochemical factors of fiber composition we created methods of varying the average F/B ratio of the gel, with significant changes in fiber structure occurring as a result of alterations in incubation temperature and increasing type III collagen presence. A migration assay was performed using simultaneous SHG and fluorescent imaging to measure average penetration depth of human tumor cells into the gels of significantly different F/B ratios, with preliminary data demonstrating that cells penetrate deeper into gels of higher F/B ratio caused by lower type III collagen concentration. Determining the role of collagen structure in tumor cell motility will aid in the future prediction metastatic capabilities of a primary tumor.

  4. Structured pathway across the transition state for peptide folding revealed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lipi Thukral

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Small globular proteins and peptides commonly exhibit two-state folding kinetics in which the rate limiting step of folding is the surmounting of a single free energy barrier at the transition state (TS separating the folded and the unfolded states. An intriguing question is whether the polypeptide chain reaches, and leaves, the TS by completely random fluctuations, or whether there is a directed, stepwise process. Here, the folding TS of a 15-residue β-hairpin peptide, Peptide 1, is characterized using independent 2.5 μs-long unbiased atomistic molecular dynamics (MD simulations (a total of 15 μs. The trajectories were started from fully unfolded structures. Multiple (spontaneous folding events to the NMR-derived conformation are observed, allowing both structural and dynamical characterization of the folding TS. A common loop-like topology is observed in all the TS structures with native end-to-end and turn contacts, while the central segments of the strands are not in contact. Non-native sidechain contacts are present in the TS between the only tryptophan (W11 and the turn region (P7-G9. Prior to the TS the turn is found to be already locked by the W11 sidechain, while the ends are apart. Once the ends have also come into contact, the TS is reached. Finally, along the reactive folding paths the cooperative loss of the W11 non-native contacts and the formation of the central inter-strand native contacts lead to the peptide rapidly proceeding from the TS to the native state. The present results indicate a directed stepwise process to folding the peptide.

  5. Comparative analysis of ABCB1 reveals novel structural and functional conservation between monocots and dicots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amandeep Kaur Dhaliwal

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Phytohormone auxin plays a critical role in modulating plant architecture by creating a gradient regulated via its transporters such as ATP-binding cassette (ABC B1. Except for Arabidopsis and maize, where it was shown to interrupt auxin transport, ABCB1’s presence, structure and function in crop species is not known. Here we describe the structural and putative functional organization of ABCB1 among monocots relative to that of dicots. Identified from various plant species following specific and stringent criteria, ZmABCB1’s ‘true’ orthologs sequence identity ranged from 56-90% at the DNA and 75-91% at the predicted amino acid (aa level. Relative to ZmABCB1, the size of genomic copies ranged from -27 to +1.5% and aa from -7.7 to +0.6%. With the average gene size being similar (5.8 kb in monocots and 5.7 kb in dicots, dicots have about triple the number of introns with an average size of 194 bp (total 1743 bp compared to 556 bp (total 1667 bp in monocots. The intron-exon junctions across species were however conserved. N-termini of the predicted proteins were highly variable: in monocots due to mismatches and small deletions of 1-13 aa compared to large, species-specific deletions of up to 77 aa in dicots. The species- family-, and group- specific conserved motifs were identified in the N-terminus and linker regions of protein, possibly responsible for the specific functions. The near-identical conserved motifs of Nucleotide Binding Domains (NBDs in two halves of the protein showed subtle aa changes possibly favoring ATP binding to the N-terminus. Predicted 3-D protein structures showed remarkable similarity with each other and for the residues involved in auxin binding.

  6. Comparative analyses of reproductive structures in harvestmen (opiliones) reveal multiple transitions from courtship to precopulatory antagonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Mercedes M; Hedin, Marshal; Shultz, Jeffrey W

    2013-01-01

    Explaining the rapid, species-specific diversification of reproductive structures and behaviors is a long-standing goal of evolutionary biology, with recent research tending to attribute reproductive phenotypes to the evolutionary mechanisms of female mate choice or intersexual conflict. Progress in understanding these and other possible mechanisms depends, in part, on reconstructing the direction, frequency and relative timing of phenotypic evolution of male and female structures in species-rich clades. Here we examine evolution of reproductive structures in the leiobunine harvestmen or "daddy long-legs" of eastern North America, a monophyletic group that includes species in which males court females using nuptial gifts and other species that are equipped for apparent precopulatory antagonism (i.e., males with long, hardened penes and females with sclerotized pregenital barriers). We used parsimony- and Bayesian likelihood-based analyses to reconstruct character evolution in categorical reproductive traits and found that losses of ancestral gift-bearing penile sacs are strongly associated with gains of female pregenital barriers. In most cases, both events occur on the same internal branch of the phylogeny. These coevolutionary changes occurred at least four times, resulting in clade-specific designs in the penis and pregenital barrier. The discovery of convergent origins and/or enhancements of apparent precopulatory antagonism among closely related species offers an unusual opportunity to investigate how major changes in reproductive morphology have occurred. We propose new hypotheses that attribute these enhancements to changes in ecology or life history that reduce the duration of breeding seasons, an association that is consistent with female choice, sexual conflict, and/or an alternative evolutionary mechanism.

  7. Comparative analyses of reproductive structures in harvestmen (opiliones reveal multiple transitions from courtship to precopulatory antagonism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes M Burns

    Full Text Available Explaining the rapid, species-specific diversification of reproductive structures and behaviors is a long-standing goal of evolutionary biology, with recent research tending to attribute reproductive phenotypes to the evolutionary mechanisms of female mate choice or intersexual conflict. Progress in understanding these and other possible mechanisms depends, in part, on reconstructing the direction, frequency and relative timing of phenotypic evolution of male and female structures in species-rich clades. Here we examine evolution of reproductive structures in the leiobunine harvestmen or "daddy long-legs" of eastern North America, a monophyletic group that includes species in which males court females using nuptial gifts and other species that are equipped for apparent precopulatory antagonism (i.e., males with long, hardened penes and females with sclerotized pregenital barriers. We used parsimony- and Bayesian likelihood-based analyses to reconstruct character evolution in categorical reproductive traits and found that losses of ancestral gift-bearing penile sacs are strongly associated with gains of female pregenital barriers. In most cases, both events occur on the same internal branch of the phylogeny. These coevolutionary changes occurred at least four times, resulting in clade-specific designs in the penis and pregenital barrier. The discovery of convergent origins and/or enhancements of apparent precopulatory antagonism among closely related species offers an unusual opportunity to investigate how major changes in reproductive morphology have occurred. We propose new hypotheses that attribute these enhancements to changes in ecology or life history that reduce the duration of breeding seasons, an association that is consistent with female choice, sexual conflict, and/or an alternative evolutionary mechanism.

  8. Super-resolution microscopy reveals a preformed NEMO lattice structure that is collapsed in incontinentia pigmenti

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholefield, Janine

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available . Finally, we demonstrate that these structures are abrogated in cells derived from incontinentia pigmenti patients. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12629 OPEN 1 Faculty of Health Sciences, Division of Chemical Systems and Synthetic Biology, Institute of Infectious....M.M. (email: ob1@mhlangalab.org). NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 7:12629 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12629 | www.nature.com/naturecommunications 1 The nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) signal transduction pathwayplays important roles in mammalian immune andinflammatory responses...

  9. Outlier SNP markers reveal fine-scale genetic structuring across European hake populations (Merluccius merluccius)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milano, I.; Babbucci, M.; Cariani, A.;

    2014-01-01

    of integrating information from neutral and adaptive evolutionary patterns towards a better assessment of genetic diversity. Accordingly, the generated outlier SNP data could be used for tackling illegal practices in hake fishing and commercialization as well as to develop explicit spatial models for defining......Shallow population structure is generally reported for most marine fish and explained as a consequence of high dispersal, connectivity and large population size. Targeted gene analyses and more recently genome-wide studies have challenged such view, suggesting that adaptive divergence might occur...

  10. Seismic tomography reveals the upper-mantle structure beneath the Carpathian-Pannonian system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dando, B. D.; Houseman, G.; Stuart, G. W.; Hegedus, E.; Kovacs, A.; Brueckl, E. P.; Hausmann, H.; Radovanovic, S.

    2009-12-01

    The Carpathian Basins Project (CBP) aims to understand the formation of the Miocene-age extensional basins contained within the convergent arc of the Alpine-Carpathian system. To test competing models for the recent geological evolution of the Carpathian-Pannonian lithosphere and upper mantle, we present a new tomographic determination of P-wave velocity structure to depths of 700 km beneath this region. This model is based on inversion of seismic travel-time residuals from 97 broadband seismic stations. We include CBP data from a 15-month deployment of a high resolution network of 46 stations deployed NW-SE across the Vienna and western Pannonian basins through Austria, Hungary and Serbia, together with 10 broadband stations spread across the Pannonian basin and a further 41 permanent broadband stations. We use P-wave arrival times from 232 teleseismic events. To avoid contamination of our inversion results from crustal velocity variations, deterministic corrections are applied to our travel-time residuals using crustal velocity models obtained from controlled source experiments and sediment thickness maps. Our 3-D velocity model images the fast velocity structure of the eastern Alps down to ~350 km. Beneath the Pannonian basin the velocity variation at 300 km depth is dominated by a fast region which extends eastward from the Alpine anomaly and reaches down into the mantle transition zone (MTZ). This fast structure is limited on the North side by slow material beneath the North Carpathians. At depths greater than 450 km, below the eastern Pannonian basin, a slow anomaly extends to the base of the model. Beneath the same region Hetenyi et al. (submitted to GRL), used receiver functions from the CBP dataset, to show a localised depression of the 660 km discontinuity of up to ~40 km. We aim to address how the depression of the 660 km discontinuity and its associated density and velocity variations affect our tomographic images. Our results will help to provide

  11. Structures of YAP protein domains reveal promising targets for development of new cancer drugs

    OpenAIRE

    Sudol, Marius; Shields, Denis C.; Farooq, Amjad

    2012-01-01

    YAP (Yes-associated protein) is a potent oncogene and a major effector of the mammalian Hippo tumor suppressor pathway. In this review, our emphasis is on the structural basis of how YAP recognizes its various cellular partners. In particular, we discuss the role of LATS kinase and AMOTL1 junction protein, two key cellular partners of YAP that bind to its WW domain, in mediating cytoplasmic localization of YAP and thereby playing a key role in the regulation of its transcriptional activity. I...

  12. Genetic diversity and structure of Brazilian ginger germplasm (Zingiber officinale) revealed by AFLP markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Eleonora Zambrano; Bajay, Miklos Maximiliano; Siqueira, Marcos Vinícius Bohrer Monteiro; Zucchi, Maria Imaculada; Pinheiro, José Baldin

    2016-12-01

    Ginger is a vegetable with medicinal and culinary properties widely cultivated in the Southern and Southeastern Brazil. The knowledge of ginger species' genetic variability is essential to direct correctly future studies of conservation and genetic improvement, but in Brazil, little is known about this species' genetic variability. In this study, we analyzed the genetic diversity and structure of 55 Brazilian accessions and 6 Colombian accessions of ginger, using AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism) molecular markers. The molecular characterization was based on 13 primers combinations, which generated an average of 113.5 polymorphic loci. The genetic diversity estimates of Nei (Hj), Shannon-Weiner index (I) and an effective number of alleles (n e ) were greater in the Colombian accessions in relation to the Brazilian accessions. The analysis of molecular variance showed that most of the genetic variation occurred between the two countries while in the Brazilian populations there is no genetic structure and probably each region harbors 100 % of genetic variation found in the samples. The bayesian model-based clustering and the dendrogram using the dissimilarity's coefficient of Jaccard were congruent with each other and showed that the Brazilian accessions are highly similar between themselves, regardless of the geographic region of origin. We suggested that the exploration of the interspecific variability and the introduction of new varieties of Z.officinale are viable alternatives for generating diversity in breeding programs in Brazil. The introduction of new genetic materials will certainly contribute to a higher genetic basis of such crop.

  13. Crystal structure and biochemical analyses reveal Beclin 1 as a novel membrane binding protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weijiao Huang; Feng-Liang Wang; Haiteng Deng; Lei Liu; Ning Gao; Li Yu; Yigong Shi; Wooyoung Choi; Wanqiu Hu; Na Mi; Qiang Guo; Meisheng Ma; Mei Liu; Yuan Tian; Peilong Lu

    2012-01-01

    The Beclin 1 gene is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor and plays an essential role in autophagy.However,the molecular mechanism by which Beclin 1 functions remains largely unknown.Here we report the crystal structure of the evolutionarily conserved domain(ECD)of Beclin 1 at 1.6(A)resolution.Beclin 1 ECD exhibits a previously unreported fold,with three structural repeats arranged symmetrically around a central axis.Beclin 1 ECD defines a novel class of membrane-binding domain,with a strong preference for lipid membrane enriched with cardiolipin.The tip of a surface loop in Beclin 1 ECD,comprising three aromatic amino acids,acts as a hydrophobic finger to associate with lipid membrane,consequently resulting in the deformation of membrane and liposomes.Mutation of these aromatic residues rendered Beclin 1 unable to stably associate with lipid membrane in vitro and unable to fully rescue autophagy in Beclin 1-knockdown cells in vivo.These observations form an important framework for deciphering the biological functions of Beclin 1.

  14. Structural, Bioinformatic, and In Vivo Analyses of Two Treponema pallidum Lipoproteins Reveal a Unique TRAP Transporter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deka, Ranjit K.; Brautigam, Chad A.; Goldberg, Martin; Schuck, Peter; Tomchick, Diana R.; Norgard, Michael V. (NIH); (UTSMC)

    2012-05-25

    Treponema pallidum, the bacterial agent of syphilis, is predicted to encode one tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic transporter (TRAP-T). TRAP-Ts typically employ a periplasmic substrate-binding protein (SBP) to deliver the cognate ligand to the transmembrane symporter. Herein, we demonstrate that the genes encoding the putative TRAP-T components from T. pallidum, tp0957 (the SBP), and tp0958 (the symporter), are in an operon with an uncharacterized third gene, tp0956. We determined the crystal structure of recombinant Tp0956; the protein is trimeric and perforated by a pore. Part of Tp0956 forms an assembly similar to those of 'tetratricopeptide repeat' (TPR) motifs. The crystal structure of recombinant Tp0957 was also determined; like the SBPs of other TRAP-Ts, there are two lobes separated by a cleft. In these other SBPs, the cleft binds a negatively charged ligand. However, the cleft of Tp0957 has a strikingly hydrophobic chemical composition, indicating that its ligand may be substantially different and likely hydrophobic. Analytical ultracentrifugation of the recombinant versions of Tp0956 and Tp0957 established that these proteins associate avidly. This unprecedented interaction was confirmed for the native molecules using in vivo cross-linking experiments. Finally, bioinformatic analyses suggested that this transporter exemplifies a new subfamily of TPATs (TPR-protein-associated TRAP-Ts) that require the action of a TPR-containing accessory protein for the periplasmic transport of a potentially hydrophobic ligand(s).

  15. Anti-MrkA Monoclonal Antibodies Reveal Distinct Structural and Antigenic Features of MrkA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qun; Chen, Yan; Cvitkovic, Romana; Pennini, Meghan E.; Chang, Chew shun; Pelletier, Mark; Bonnell, Jessica; Wu, Herren; Dall’Acqua, William F.; Stover, C. Kendall; Xiao, Xiaodong

    2017-01-01

    Antibody therapy against antibiotics resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infections represents a promising strategy, the success of which depends critically on the ability to identify appropriate antibody targets. Using a target-agnostic strategy, we recently discovered MrkA as a potential antibody target and vaccine antigen. Interestingly, the anti-MrkA monoclonal antibodies isolated through phage display and hybridoma platforms all recognize an overlapping epitope, which opens up important questions including whether monoclonal antibodies targeting different MrkA epitopes can be generated and if they possess different protective profiles. In this study we generated four anti-MrkA antibodies targeting different epitopes through phage library panning against recombinant MrkA protein. These anti-MrkA antibodies elicited strong in vitro and in vivo protections against a multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain. Furthermore, mutational and epitope analysis suggest that the two cysteine residues may play essential roles in maintaining a MrkA structure that is highly compacted and exposes limited antibody binding/neutralizing epitopes. These results suggest the need for further in-depth understandings of the structure of MrkA, the role of MrkA in the pathogenesis of Klebsiella pneumoniae and the protective mechanism adopted by anti-MrkA antibodies to fully explore the potential of MrkA as an efficient therapeutic target and vaccine antigen. PMID:28107434

  16. Structure of naturally hydrated ferrihydrite revealed through neutron diffraction and first-principles modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, Helen F.; Thom, William; Bowron, Daniel T.; Faria, Nuno; Hasnip, Philip J.; Powell, Jonathan J.

    2017-08-01

    Ferrihydrite, with a ``two-line'' x-ray diffraction pattern (2L-Fh), is the most amorphous of the iron oxides and is ubiquitous in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. It also plays a central role in the regulation and metabolism of iron in bacteria, algae, higher plants, and animals, including humans. In this study, we present a single-phase model for ferrihydrite that unifies existing analytical data while adhering to fundamental chemical principles. The primary particle is small (20-50 Å) and has a dynamic and variably hydrated surface, which negates long-range order; collectively, these features have hampered complete characterization and frustrated our understanding of the mineral's reactivity and chemical/biochemical function. Near and intermediate range neutron diffraction (NIMROD) and first-principles density functional theory (DFT) were employed in this study to generate and interpret high-resolution data of naturally hydrated, synthetic 2L-Fh at standard temperature. The structural optimization overcomes transgressions of coordination chemistry inherent within previously proposed structures, to produce a robust and unambiguous single-phase model.

  17. Structure of the Class IV Adenylyl Cyclase Reveals a Novel Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallagher,D.; Smith, N.; Kim, S.; Heroux, A.; Robinson, H.; Reddy, P.

    2006-01-01

    The crystal structure of the class IV adenylyl cyclase (AC) from Yersinia pestis (Yp) is reported at 1.9 {angstrom} resolution. The class IV AC fold is distinct from the previously described folds for class II and class III ACs. The dimeric AC-IV folds into an antiparallel eight-stranded barrel whose connectivity has been seen in only three previous structures: yeast RNA triphosphatase and two proteins of unknown function from Pyrococcus furiosus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Eight highly conserved ionic residues E10, E12, K14, R63, K76, K111, D126, and E136 lie in the barrel core and form the likely binding sites for substrate and divalent cations. A phosphate ion is observed bound to R63, K76, K111, and R113 near the center of the conserved cluster. Unlike the AC-II and AC-III active sites that utilize two-Asp motifs for cation binding, the AC-IV active site is relatively enriched in glutamate and features an ExE motif as its most conserved element. Homologs of Y. pestis AC-IV, including human thiamine triphosphatase, span the three kingdoms of life and delineate an ancient family of phosphonucleotide processing enzymes.

  18. Population structure of Purple Sandpipers (Calidris maritima) as revealed by mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Nathalie M; Stewart, Donald T; Pálsson, Snaebjörn; Elderkin, Mark F; Mittelhauser, Glen; Mockford, Stephen; Paquet, Julie; Robertson, Gregory J; Summers, Ron W; Tudor, Lindsay; Mallory, Mark L

    2017-05-01

    The Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima) is a medium-sized shorebird that breeds in the Arctic and winters along northern Atlantic coastlines. Migration routes and affiliations between breeding grounds and wintering grounds are incompletely understood. Some populations appear to be declining, and future management policies for this species will benefit from understanding their migration patterns. This study used two mitochondrial DNA markers and 10 microsatellite loci to analyze current population structure and historical demographic trends. Samples were obtained from breeding locations in Nunavut (Canada), Iceland, and Svalbard (Norway) and from wintering locations along the coast of Maine (USA), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland (Canada), and Scotland (UK). Mitochondrial haplotypes displayed low genetic diversity, and a shallow phylogeny indicating recent divergence. With the exception of the two Canadian breeding populations from Nunavut, there was significant genetic differentiation among samples from all breeding locations; however, none of the breeding populations was a monophyletic group. We also found differentiation between both Iceland and Svalbard breeding populations and North American wintering populations. This pattern of divergence is consistent with a previously proposed migratory pathway between Canadian breeding locations and wintering grounds in the United Kingdom, but argues against migration between breeding grounds in Iceland and Svalbard and wintering grounds in North America. Breeding birds from Svalbard also showed a genetic signature intermediate between Canadian breeders and Icelandic breeders. Our results extend current knowledge of Purple Sandpiper population genetic structure and present new information regarding migration routes to wintering grounds in North America.

  19. Agarose Gel Electrophoresis Reveals Structural Fluidity of a Phage T3 DNA Packaging Intermediate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serwer, Philip; Wright, Elena T.

    2012-01-01

    We find a new aspect of DNA packaging-associated structural fluidity for phage T3 capsids. The procedure is (1) glutaraldehyde cross-linking of in vivo DNA packaging intermediates for stabilization of structure and then (2) determining of effective radius by two-dimensional agarose gel electrophoresis (2d-AGE). The intermediates are capsids with incompletely packaged DNA (ipDNA) and without an external DNA segment; these intermediates are called ipDNA-capsids. We initially increase production of ipDNA-capsids by raising NaCl concentration during in vivo DNA packaging. By 2d-AGE, we find a new state of contracted shell for some particles of one previously identified ipDNA-capsid. The contracted shell-state is found when ipDNA length/mature DNA length (F) is above 0.17, but not at lower F. Some contracted-shell ipDNA-capsids have the phage tail; others do not. The contracted-shell ipDNA-capsids are explained by premature DNA maturation cleavage that makes accessible a contracted-shell intermediate of a cycle of the T3 DNA packaging motor. The analysis of ipDNA-capsids, rather than intermediates with uncleaved DNA, provides a simplifying strategy for a complete biochemical analysis of in vivo DNA packaging. PMID:22222979

  20. Functional mutagenesis screens reveal the 'cap structure' formation in disulfide-bridge free TASK channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Matthias; Rinné, Susanne; Kiper, Aytug K; Ramírez, David; Netter, Michael F; Bustos, Daniel; Ortiz-Bonnin, Beatriz; González, Wendy; Decher, Niels

    2016-01-22

    Two-pore-domain potassium (K2P) channels have a large extracellular cap structure formed by two M1-P1 linkers, containing a cysteine for dimerization. However, this cysteine is not present in the TASK-1/3/5 subfamily. The functional role of the cap is poorly understood and it remained unclear whether K2P channels assemble in the domain-swapped orientation or not. Functional alanine-mutagenesis screens of TASK-1 and TRAAK were used to build an in silico model of the TASK-1 cap. According to our data the cap structure of disulfide-bridge free TASK channels is similar to that of other K2P channels and is most likely assembled in the domain-swapped orientation. As the conserved cysteine is not essential for functional expression of all K2P channels tested, we propose that hydrophobic residues at the inner leaflets of the cap domains can interact with each other and that this way of stabilizing the cap is most likely conserved among K2P channels.

  1. Neutrons reveal how nature uses structural themes and variation in biological regulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trewhella, Jill [School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006 (Australia)]. E-mail: jtrewhella@usyd.edu.au

    2006-11-15

    Healthy cellular function requires tight regulation of a multitude of bio-molecular interactions and processes, often in response to external stimuli. In achieving this regulation, nature uses a number of 'second messengers' that are released inside cells in response to first messengers, such as hormones that bind to the cell surface. Divalent calcium and cyclic nucleotides, like cAMP, are among nature's second messengers that bind to receptor proteins inside cells order to regulate the activities of various targets, including many protein kinases. Kinases are enzymes that catalyze the attachment of phosphate groups to proteins in order to modulate their functions. We have been using neutron contrast variation and small-angle solution scattering to study the interactions of the second messenger receptor proteins and their regulatory targets in order to understand the structural basis for these complex processes that use a number of common structural motifs to accomplish highly regulated function. Our most recent work has focused on the different isoforms of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase and the muscle regulatory complex troponin.

  2. Structural differences between yeast and mammalian microtubules revealed by cryo-EM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howes, Stuart C. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Biophysics Graduate Group; Geyer, Elisabeth A. [Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States). Dept. of Biophysics; Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry; LaFrance, Benjamin [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Program; Zhang, Rui [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Howard Hughes Medical Inst.; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division; Kellogg, Elizabeth H. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Howard Hughes Medical Inst.; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division; Westermann, Stefan [Univ. of Duisburg-Essen, Essen (Germany). Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Center for Medical Biotechnology; Rice, Luke M. [Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States). Dept. of Biophysics; Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry; Nogales, Eva [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Howard Hughes Medical Inst.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Molecular Biology and California Inst. for Quantitative Biosciences; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division

    2017-06-26

    Microtubules are polymers of αβ-tubulin heterodimers essential for all eukaryotes. Despite sequence conservation, there are significant structural differences between microtubules assembled in vitro from mammalian or budding yeast tubulin. Yeast MTs were not observed to undergo compaction at the interdimer interface as seen for mammalian microtubules upon GTP hydrolysis. Lack of compaction might reflect slower GTP hydrolysis or a different degree of allosteric coupling in the lattice. The microtubule plus end–tracking protein Bim1 binds yeast microtubules both between αβ-tubulin heterodimers, as seen for other organisms, and within tubulin dimers, but binds mammalian tubulin only at interdimer contacts. At the concentrations used in cryo-electron microscopy, Bim1 causes the compaction of yeast microtubules and induces their rapid disassembly. In conclusion, our studies demonstrate structural differences between yeast and mammalian microtubules that likely underlie their differing polymerization dynamics. These differences may reflect adaptations to the demands of different cell size or range of physiological growth temperatures.

  3. Structures of GRP94-Nucleotide Complexes Reveal Mechanistic Differences Between the Hsp90 Chaperones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dollins, D.E.; Warren, J.J.; Immormino, R.M.; Gewirth, D.T.

    2009-06-02

    GRP94, an essential endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, is required for the conformational maturation of proteins destined for cell-surface display or export. The extent to which GRP94 and its cytosolic paralog, Hsp90, share a common mechanism remains controversial. GRP94 has not been shown conclusively to hydrolyze ATP or bind cochaperones, and both activities, by contrast, result in conformational changes and N-terminal dimerization in Hsp90 that are critical for its function. Here, we report the 2.4 {angstrom} crystal structure of mammalian GRP94 in complex with AMPPNP and ADP. The chaperone is conformationally insensitive to the identity of the bound nucleotide, adopting a 'twisted V' conformation that precludes N-terminal domain dimerization. We also present conclusive evidence that GRP94 possesses ATPase activity. Our observations provide a structural explanation for GRP94's observed rate of ATP hydrolysis and suggest a model for the role of ATP binding and hydrolysis in the GRP94 chaperone cycle.

  4. Structure of the LdcB LD-carboxypeptidase reveals the molecular basis of peptidoglycan recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyland, Christopher N; Aldridge, Christine; Cleverley, Robert M; Duchêne, Marie-Clémence; Minasov, George; Onopriyenko, Olena; Sidiq, Karzan; Stogios, Peter J; Anderson, Wayne F; Daniel, Richard A; Savchenko, Alexei; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-07-08

    Peptidoglycan surrounds the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane to protect the cell against osmolysis. The biosynthesis of peptidoglycan, made of glycan strands crosslinked by short peptides, is the target of antibiotics like β-lactams and glycopeptides. Nascent peptidoglycan contains pentapeptides that are trimmed by carboxypeptidases to tetra- and tripeptides. The well-characterized DD-carboxypeptidases hydrolyze the terminal D-alanine from the stem pentapeptide to produce a tetrapeptide. However, few LD-carboxypeptidases that produce tripeptides have been identified, and nothing is known about substrate specificity in these enzymes. We report biochemical properties and crystal structures of the LD-carboxypeptidases LdcB from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus subtilis. The enzymes are active against bacterial cell wall tetrapeptides and adopt a zinc-carboxypeptidase fold characteristic of the LAS superfamily. We have also solved the structure of S. pneumoniae LdcB with a product mimic, elucidating the residues essential for peptidoglycan recognition and the conformational changes that occur on ligand binding.

  5. Synthetic CpG islands reveal DNA sequence determinants of chromatin structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Elisabeth; Quante, Timo; Merusi, Cara; Arczewska, Aleksandra; Stewart, Francis; Webb, Shaun; Bird, Adrian

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian genome is punctuated by CpG islands (CGIs), which differ sharply from the bulk genome by being rich in G + C and the dinucleotide CpG. CGIs often include transcription initiation sites and display ‘active’ histone marks, notably histone H3 lysine 4 methylation. In embryonic stem cells (ESCs) some CGIs adopt a ‘bivalent’ chromatin state bearing simultaneous ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ chromatin marks. To determine whether CGI chromatin is developmentally programmed at specific genes or is imposed by shared features of CGI DNA, we integrated artificial CGI-like DNA sequences into the ESC genome. We found that bivalency is the default chromatin structure for CpG-rich, G + C-rich DNA. A high CpG density alone is not sufficient for this effect, as A + T-rich sequence settings invariably provoke de novo DNA methylation leading to loss of CGI signature chromatin. We conclude that both CpG-richness and G + C-richness are required for induction of signature chromatin structures at CGIs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03397.001 PMID:25259796

  6. Local population structure in Arabian Peninsula revealed by Y-STR diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshamali, Farida; Pereira, Luísa; Budowle, Bruce; Poloni, Estella S; Currat, Mathias

    2009-01-01

    Genetic studies have been underway on Arabian Peninsula populations because of their pivotal geographic location for population migration and times of occurrence. To assist in better understanding population dynamics in this region, evidence is presented herein on local population structure in the Arabian Peninsula, based on Y-STR characterisation in four Arabian samples and its comparison in a broad geographical scale. Our results demonstrate that geography played an important role in shaping the genetic structure of the region around the Near-East. Populations are grouped regionally but none of these groups is significantly differentiated from others and all groups merge in the Near-East, in keeping with this important migration corridor for the human species. Focusing on the Arabian Peninsula, we show that Dubai and Oman share genetic affinities with other Near-Eastern populations, while Saudi Arabia and Yemen show a relative distinctive isolated background. Those two populations may have been kept relatively separated from migration routes, maybe due to their location in a desert area.

  7. Structures of minimal catalytic fragments of topoisomerase V reveals conformational changes relevant for DNA binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Rakhi; Taneja, Bhupesh; Mondragón, Alfonso

    2010-07-14

    Topoisomerase V is an archaeal type I topoisomerase that is unique among topoisomerases due to presence of both topoisomerase and DNA repair activities in the same protein. It is organized as an N-terminal topoisomerase domain followed by 24 tandem helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) motifs. Structural studies have shown that the active site is buried by the (HhH) motifs. Here we show that the N-terminal domain can relax DNA in the absence of any HhH motifs and that the HhH motifs are required for stable protein-DNA complex formation. Crystal structures of various topoisomerase V fragments show changes in the relative orientation of the domains mediated by a long bent linker helix, and these movements are essential for the DNA to enter the active site. Phosphate ions bound to the protein near the active site helped model DNA in the topoisomerase domain and show how topoisomerase V may interact with DNA.

  8. Structure of DNA-Cationic Surfactant Complexes at Hydrophobically Modified and Hydrophilic Silica Surfaces as Revealed by Neutron Reflectometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cardenas Gomez, Marite; Wacklin, Hanna; Campbell, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we discuss the structure and composition of mixed DNA-cationic surfactant adsorption layers on both hydrophobic and hydrophilic solid surfaces. We have focused on the effects of the bulk concentrations, the surfactant chain length, and the type solid surface on the interfacial...... layer structure (the location, coverage, and conformation the e DNA and surfactant molecules). Neutron reflectometry is the technique of choice for revealing the surface layer structure by means of selective deuteration. We start by studying the interfacial complexation of DNA...... with dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) on hydrophobic surfaces, where we show that DNA molecules are located on top of a self-assembled surfactant monolayer, with the thickness of the DNA layer and the surfactant DNA ratio determined by the surface coverage of the underlying...

  9. Analysis of the Staphylococcus aureus DgkB Structure Reveals a Common Catalytic Mechanism for the Soluble Diacylglycerol Kinases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Darcie J.; Jerga, Agoston; Rock, Charles O.; White, Stephen W. (SJCH)

    2008-08-11

    Soluble diacylglycerol (DAG) kinases function as regulators of diacylglycerol metabolism in cell signaling and intermediary metabolism. We report the structure of a DAG kinase, DgkB from Staphylococcus aureus, both as the free enzyme and in complex with ADP. The molecule is a tight homodimer, and each monomer comprises two domains with the catalytic center located within the interdomain cleft. Two distinctive features of DkgB are a structural Mg{sup 2+} site and an associated Asp{center_dot}water{center_dot}Mg{sup 2+} network that extends toward the active site locale. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that these features play important roles in the catalytic mechanism. The key active site residues and the components of the Asp{center_dot}water{center_dot}Mg{sup 2+} network are conserved in the catalytic cores of the mammalian signaling DAG kinases, indicating that these enzymes use the same mechanism and have similar structures as DgkB.

  10. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S Truschel; D Sengupta; A Foote; A Heroux; M Macbeth; A Linstedt

    2011-12-31

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an internal ligand on PDZ2 mediates the GRASP self-interaction, and structural analyses suggest that this occurs via a unique mode of internal PDZ ligand recognition. Our data uncover the structural basis for ligand specificity and provide insight into the mechanism of GRASP-dependent membrane tethering of analogous Golgi cisternae.

  11. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truschel, S.T.; Heroux, A.; Sengupta, D.; Foote, A.; Macbeth, M. R.; Linstedt, A. D.

    2011-06-10

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an internal ligand on PDZ2 mediates the GRASP self-interaction, and structural analyses suggest that this occurs via a unique mode of internal PDZ ligand recognition. Our data uncover the structural basis for ligand specificity and provide insight into the mechanism of GRASP-dependent membrane tethering of analogous Golgi cisternae.

  12. Analysis of the Staphylococcus aureus DgkB structure reveals a common catalytic mechanism for the soluble diacylglycerol kinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Darcie J; Jerga, Agoston; Rock, Charles O; White, Stephen W

    2008-07-01

    Soluble diacylglycerol (DAG) kinases function as regulators of diacylglycerol metabolism in cell signaling and intermediary metabolism. We report the structure of a DAG kinase, DgkB from Staphylococcus aureus, both as the free enzyme and in complex with ADP. The molecule is a tight homodimer, and each monomer comprises two domains with the catalytic center located within the interdomain cleft. Two distinctive features of DkgB are a structural Mg2+ site and an associated Asp*water*Mg2+ network that extends toward the active site locale. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that these features play important roles in the catalytic mechanism. The key active site residues and the components of the Asp*water*Mg2+ network are conserved in the catalytic cores of the mammalian signaling DAG kinases, indicating that these enzymes use the same mechanism and have similar structures as DgkB.

  13. Cryo-EM structure of aerolysin variants reveals a novel protein fold and the pore-formation process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacovache, Ioan; de Carlo, Sacha; Cirauqui, Nuria; Dal Peraro, Matteo; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Zuber, Benoît

    2016-07-01

    Owing to their pathogenical role and unique ability to exist both as soluble proteins and transmembrane complexes, pore-forming toxins (PFTs) have been a focus of microbiologists and structural biologists for decades. PFTs are generally secreted as water-soluble monomers and subsequently bind the membrane of target cells. Then, they assemble into circular oligomers, which undergo conformational changes that allow membrane insertion leading to pore formation and potentially cell death. Aerolysin, produced by the human pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila, is the founding member of a major PFT family found throughout all kingdoms of life. We report cryo-electron microscopy structures of three conformational intermediates and of the final aerolysin pore, jointly providing insight into the conformational changes that allow pore formation. Moreover, the structures reveal a protein fold consisting of two concentric β-barrels, tightly kept together by hydrophobic interactions. This fold suggests a basis for the prion-like ultrastability of aerolysin pore and its stoichiometry.

  14. Age-related structural abnormalities in the human retina-choroid complex revealed by two-photon excited autofluorescence imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Meng; Giese, Guenter; Schmitz-Valckenberg, Steffen; Bindewald-Wittich, Almut; Holz, Frank G; Yu, Jiayi; Bille, Josef F; Niemz, Markolf H

    2007-01-01

    The intensive metabolism of photoreceptors is delicately maintained by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the choroid. Dysfunction of either the RPE or choroid may lead to severe damage to the retina. Two-photon excited autofluorescence (TPEF) from endogenous fluorophores in the human retina provides a novel opportunity to reveal age-related structural abnormalities in the retina-choroid complex prior to apparent pathological manifestations of age-related retinal diseases. In the photoreceptor layer, the regularity of the macular photoreceptor mosaic is preserved during aging. In the RPE, enlarged lipofuscin granules demonstrate significantly blue-shifted autofluorescence, which coincides with the depletion of melanin pigments. Prominent fibrillar structures in elderly Bruch's membrane and choriocapillaries represent choroidal structure and permeability alterations. Requiring neither slicing nor labeling, TPEF imaging is an elegant and highly efficient tool to delineate the thick, fragile, and opaque retina-choroid complex, and may provide clues to the trigger events of age-related macular degeneration.

  15. The crystal structure of Mtr4 reveals a novel arch domain required for rRNA processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, R.N.; Robinson, H.; Klauer, A. A.; Hintze, B. J.; van Hoof, A.; Johnson, S. J.

    2010-07-01

    The essential RNA helicase, Mtr4, performs a critical role in RNA processing and degradation as an activator of the nuclear exosome. The molecular basis for this vital function is not understood and detailed analysis is significantly limited by the lack of structural data. In this study, we present the crystal structure of Mtr4. The structure reveals a new arch-like domain that is specific to Mtr4 and Ski2 (the cytosolic homologue of Mtr4). In vivo and in vitro analyses demonstrate that the Mtr4 arch domain is required for proper 5.8S rRNA processing, and suggest that the arch functions independently of canonical helicase activity. In addition, extensive conservation along the face of the putative RNA exit site highlights a potential interface with the exosome. These studies provide a molecular framework for understanding fundamental aspects of helicase function in exosome activation, and more broadly define the molecular architecture of Ski2-like helicases.

  16. Mitochondrial DNA Reveals Genetic Structuring of Pinna nobilis across the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanna, Daria; Cossu, Piero; Dedola, Gian Luca; Scarpa, Fabio; Maltagliati, Ferruccio; Castelli, Alberto; Franzoi, Piero; Lai, Tiziana; Cristo, Benedetto; Curini-Galletti, Marco; Francalacci, Paolo; Casu, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Pinna nobilis is the largest endemic Mediterranean marine bivalve. During past centuries, various human activities have promoted the regression of its populations. As a consequence of stringent standards of protection, demographic expansions are currently reported in many sites. The aim of this study was to provide the first large broad-scale insight into the genetic variability of P. nobilis in the area that encompasses the western Mediterranean, Ionian Sea, and Adriatic Sea marine ecoregions. To accomplish this objective twenty-five populations from this area were surveyed using two mitochondrial DNA markers (COI and 16S). Our dataset was then merged with those obtained in other studies for the Aegean and Tunisian populations (eastern Mediterranean), and statistical analyses (Bayesian model-based clustering, median-joining network, AMOVA, mismatch distribution, Tajima’s and Fu’s neutrality tests and Bayesian skyline plots) were performed. The results revealed genetic divergence among three distinguishable areas: (1) western Mediterranean and Ionian Sea; (2) Adriatic Sea; and (3) Aegean Sea and Tunisian coastal areas. From a conservational point of view, populations from the three genetically divergent groups found may be considered as different management units. PMID:23840684

  17. Does my face FIT?: a face image task reveals structure and distortions of facial feature representation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina T Fuentes

    Full Text Available Despite extensive research on face perception, few studies have investigated individuals' knowledge about the physical features of their own face. In this study, 50 participants indicated the location of key features of their own face, relative to an anchor point corresponding to the tip of the nose, and the results were compared to the true location of the same individual's features from a standardised photograph. Horizontal and vertical errors were analysed separately. An overall bias to underestimate vertical distances revealed a distorted face representation, with reduced face height. Factor analyses were used to identify separable subconfigurations of facial features with correlated localisation errors. Independent representations of upper and lower facial features emerged from the data pattern. The major source of variation across individuals was in representation of face shape, with a spectrum from tall/thin to short/wide representation. Visual identification of one's own face is excellent, and facial features are routinely used for establishing personal identity. However, our results show that spatial knowledge of one's own face is remarkably poor, suggesting that face representation may not contribute strongly to self-awareness.

  18. Revealing H2D+ depletion and compact structure in starless and protostellar cores with ALMA

    CERN Document Server

    Friesen, R K; Bourke, T L; Caselli, P; Jørgensen, J K; Pineda, J E; Wong, M

    2014-01-01

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of the submillimeter dust continuum and H2D+ 1_{10}-1_{11} emission toward two evolved, potentially protostellar cores within the Ophiuchus molecular cloud, Oph A SM1 and SM1N. The data reveal small-scale condensations within both cores, with mass upper limits of M <~ 0.02M_Sun (~ 20 M_Jup). The SM1 condensation is consistent with a nearly-symmetric Gaussian source with a width of only 37 AU. The SM1N condensation is elongated, and extends 500 AU along its major axis. No evidence for substructure is seen in either source. A Jeans analysis indicates these sources are unlikely to fragment, suggesting that both will form single stars. H2D+ is only detected toward SM1N, offset from the continuum peak by ~150-200 AU. This offset may be due to either heating from an undetected, young, low luminosity protostellar source or first hydrostatic core, or HD (and consequently H2D+) depletion in the cold centre of the condensation. We propose th...

  19. Urban scaling and its deviations: revealing the structure of wealth, innovation and crime across cities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettencourt, Luís M A; Lobo, José; Strumsky, Deborah; West, Geoffrey B

    2010-11-10

    With urban population increasing dramatically worldwide, cities are playing an increasingly critical role in human societies and the sustainability of the planet. An obstacle to effective policy is the lack of meaningful urban metrics based on a quantitative understanding of cities. Typically, linear per capita indicators are used to characterize and rank cities. However, these implicitly ignore the fundamental role of nonlinear agglomeration integral to the life history of cities. As such, per capita indicators conflate general nonlinear effects, common to all cities, with local dynamics, specific to each city, failing to provide direct measures of the impact of local events and policy. Agglomeration nonlinearities are explicitly manifested by the superlinear power law scaling of most urban socioeconomic indicators with population size, all with similar exponents (1.15). As a result larger cities are disproportionally the centers of innovation, wealth and crime, all to approximately the same degree. We use these general urban laws to develop new urban metrics that disentangle dynamics at different scales and provide true measures of local urban performance. New rankings of cities and a novel and simpler perspective on urban systems emerge. We find that local urban dynamics display long-term memory, so cities under or outperforming their size expectation maintain such (dis)advantage for decades. Spatiotemporal correlation analyses reveal a novel functional taxonomy of U.S. metropolitan areas that is generally not organized geographically but based instead on common local economic models, innovation strategies and patterns of crime.

  20. Urban scaling and its deviations: revealing the structure of wealth, innovation and crime across cities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís M A Bettencourt

    Full Text Available With urban population increasing dramatically worldwide, cities are playing an increasingly critical role in human societies and the sustainability of the planet. An obstacle to effective policy is the lack of meaningful urban metrics based on a quantitative understanding of cities. Typically, linear per capita indicators are used to characterize and rank cities. However, these implicitly ignore the fundamental role of nonlinear agglomeration integral to the life history of cities. As such, per capita indicators conflate general nonlinear effects, common to all cities, with local dynamics, specific to each city, failing to provide direct measures of the impact of local events and policy. Agglomeration nonlinearities are explicitly manifested by the superlinear power law scaling of most urban socioeconomic indicators with population size, all with similar exponents (1.15. As a result larger cities are disproportionally the centers of innovation, wealth and crime, all to approximately the same degree. We use these general urban laws to develop new urban metrics that disentangle dynamics at different scales and provide true measures of local urban performance. New rankings of cities and a novel and simpler perspective on urban systems emerge. We find that local urban dynamics display long-term memory, so cities under or outperforming their size expectation maintain such (disadvantage for decades. Spatiotemporal correlation analyses reveal a novel functional taxonomy of U.S. metropolitan areas that is generally not organized geographically but based instead on common local economic models, innovation strategies and patterns of crime.

  1. Exploiting the pathway structure of metabolism to reveal high-order epistasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imielinski Marcin

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biological robustness results from redundant pathways that achieve an essential objective, e.g. the production of biomass. As a consequence, the biological roles of many genes can only be revealed through multiple knockouts that identify a set of genes as essential for a given function. The identification of such "epistatic" essential relationships between network components is critical for the understanding and eventual manipulation of robust systems-level phenotypes. Results We introduce and apply a network-based approach for genome-scale metabolic knockout design. We apply this method to uncover over 11,000 minimal knockouts for biomass production in an in silico genome-scale model of E. coli. A large majority of these "essential sets" contain 5 or more reactions, and thus represent complex epistatic relationships between components of the E. coli metabolic network. Conclusion The complex minimal biomass knockouts discovered with our approach illuminate robust essential systems-level roles for reactions in the E. coli metabolic network. Unlike previous approaches, our method yields results regarding high-order epistatic relationships and is applicable at the genome-scale.

  2. 3-D crustal and uppermost mantle structure beneath NE China revealed by ambient noise adjoint tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaning; Niu, Fenglin; Chen, Min; Yang, Wencai

    2017-03-01

    We construct a new 3-D shear wave speed model of the crust and the uppermost mantle beneath Northeast China using the ambient noise adjoint tomography method. Without intermediate steps of measuring phase dispersion, the adjoint tomography inverts for shear wave speeds of the crust and uppermost mantle directly from 6-40 s waveforms of Empirical Green's functions (EGFs) of Rayleigh waves, which are derived from interferometry of two years of ambient noise data recorded by the 127 Northeast China Extended Seismic Array stations. With an initial 3-D model derived from traditional asymptotic surface wave tomography method, adjoint tomography refines the 3-D model by iteratively minimizing the frequency-dependent traveltime misfits between EGFs and synthetic Green's functions measured in four period bands: 6-15 s, 10-20 s, 15-30 s, and 20-40 s. Our new model shows shear wave speed anomalies that are spatially correlated with known tectonic units such as the Great Xing'an range and the Changbaishan mountain range. The new model also reveals low wave speed conduits in the mid-lower crust and the uppermost mantle with a wave speed reduction indicative of partial melting beneath the Halaha, Xilinhot-Abaga, and Jingpohu volcanic complexes, suggesting that the Cenozoic volcanism in the area has a deep origin. Overall, the adjoint tomographic images show more vertically continuous velocity anomalies with larger amplitudes due to the consideration of the finite frequency and 3-D effects.

  3. High-throughput SHAPE analysis reveals structures in HIV-1 genomic RNA strongly conserved across distinct biological states.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin A Wilkinson

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Replication and pathogenesis of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV is tightly linked to the structure of its RNA genome, but genome structure in infectious virions is poorly understood. We invent high-throughput SHAPE (selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension technology, which uses many of the same tools as DNA sequencing, to quantify RNA backbone flexibility at single-nucleotide resolution and from which robust structural information can be immediately derived. We analyze the structure of HIV-1 genomic RNA in four biologically instructive states, including the authentic viral genome inside native particles. Remarkably, given the large number of plausible local structures, the first 10% of the HIV-1 genome exists in a single, predominant conformation in all four states. We also discover that noncoding regions functioning in a regulatory role have significantly lower (p-value < 0.0001 SHAPE reactivities, and hence more structure, than do viral coding regions that function as the template for protein synthesis. By directly monitoring protein binding inside virions, we identify the RNA recognition motif for the viral nucleocapsid protein. Seven structurally homologous binding sites occur in a well-defined domain in the genome, consistent with a role in directing specific packaging of genomic RNA into nascent virions. In addition, we identify two distinct motifs that are targets for the duplex destabilizing activity of this same protein. The nucleocapsid protein destabilizes local HIV-1 RNA structure in ways likely to facilitate initial movement both of the retroviral reverse transcriptase from its tRNA primer and of the ribosome in coding regions. Each of the three nucleocapsid interaction motifs falls in a specific genome domain, indicating that local protein interactions can be organized by the long-range architecture of an RNA. High-throughput SHAPE reveals a comprehensive view of HIV-1 RNA genome structure, and further

  4. Crystal Structures of Lys-63-linked tri- and di-ubiquitin Reveal a Highly Extended Chain Architecture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weeks, S.; Grasty, K; Hernandez-Cuebas, L; Loll, P

    2009-01-01

    The covalent attachment of different types of poly-ubiquitin chains signal different outcomes for the proteins so targeted. For example, a protein modified with Lys-48-linked poly-ubiquitin chains is targeted for proteasomal degradation, whereas Lys-63-linked chains encode nondegradative signals. The structural features that enable these different types of chains to encode different signals have not yet been fully elucidated. We report here the X-ray crystal structures of Lys-63-linked tri- and di-ubiquitin at resolutions of 2.3 and 1.9 {angstrom}, respectively. The tri- and di-ubiquitin species adopt essentially identical structures. In both instances, the ubiquitin chain assumes a highly extended conformation with a left-handed helical twist; the helical chain contains four ubiquitin monomers per turn and has a repeat length of {approx}110 {angstrom}. Interestingly, Lys-48 ubiquitin chains also adopt a left-handed helical structure with a similar repeat length. However, the Lys-63 architecture is much more open than that of Lys-48 chains and exposes much more of the ubiquitin surface for potential recognition events. These new crystal structures are consistent with the results of solution studies of Lys-63 chain conformation, and reveal the structural basis for differential recognition of Lys-63 versus Lys-48 chains.

  5. Elements of the Chicxulub Impact Structure as revealed in SRTM and surface GPS topographic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobrick, M.; Kinsland, G. L.; Sanchez, G.; Cardador, M. H.

    2003-04-01

    Pope et al have utilized elevations from the Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) gravity data files to show that the main component of the surface expression of the Chicxu-lub Impact Structure is a roughly semi-circular, low-relief depression about 90 km in diameter. They also identified other topographic features and the elements of the buried impact which possibly led to the development of these features. Kinsland et al presented a connection between these topographic anomalies, small gravity anomalies and buried structure of the impact. Shaded relief images from recently acquired SRTM elevation data clearly show the circular depression of the crater and the moat/cenote ring. In addition we can readily identify Inner trough 1, Inner trough 2 and Outer trough as defined by Pope et al. The agreement between the topographic maps of Pope et al, Kinsland et al and SRTM data are remarkable considering that the distribution and types of data in the sets are so different. We also have ground topographic data collected with a special "autonomous differ-ential GPS" system during summer 2002. Profiles from these data generally agree with both the gravity data based topographic maps and profiles extracted from the SRTM data. Preliminary analyses of our new data, SRTM and GPS, have uncovered features not previously recognized: 1) as shown by the GPS data the moat/cenote ring consists of two distinct depressions separated by about 10 km...perhaps separate ring faults, 2) in the SRTM data over the southern part of the crater and on southward for perhaps 20 km beyond the moat/ cenote ring there exists a pattern, as yet unexplained, of roughly concentric topographic features whose center lies at about 21deg 40min N and 89deg 25min W, about 50km NNE of the moat/cenote ring center. The corroboration and better definition of the previously recognized topographic features yielded by the two new forms of data strengthens the cases for these fea-tures and for their relevance to the underlying

  6. Fine-scale genetic structure and cryptic associations reveal evidence of kin-based sociality in the African forest elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuttler, Stephanie G; Philbrick, Jessica A; Jeffery, Kathryn J; Eggert, Lori S

    2014-01-01

    Spatial patterns of relatedness within animal populations are important in the evolution of mating and social systems, and have the potential to reveal information on species that are difficult to observe in the wild. This study examines the fine-scale genetic structure and connectivity of groups within African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, which are often difficult to observe due to forest habitat. We tested the hypothesis that genetic similarity will decline with increasing geographic distance, as we expect kin to be in closer proximity, using spatial autocorrelation analyses and Tau K(r) tests. Associations between individuals were investigated through a non-invasive genetic capture-recapture approach using network models, and were predicted to be more extensive than the small groups found in observational studies, similar to fission-fusion sociality found in African savanna (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) species. Dung samples were collected in Lopé National Park, Gabon in 2008 and 2010 and genotyped at 10 microsatellite loci, genetically sexed, and sequenced at the mitochondrial DNA control region. We conducted analyses on samples collected at three different temporal scales: a day, within six-day sampling sessions, and within each year. Spatial autocorrelation and Tau K(r) tests revealed genetic structure, but results were weak and inconsistent between sampling sessions. Positive spatial autocorrelation was found in distance classes of 0-5 km, and was strongest for the single day session. Despite weak genetic structure, individuals within groups were significantly more related to each other than to individuals between groups. Social networks revealed some components to have large, extensive groups of up to 22 individuals, and most groups were composed of individuals of the same matriline. Although fine-scale population genetic structure was weak, forest elephants are typically found in groups consisting of kin and based on matrilines

  7. Fine-scale genetic structure and cryptic associations reveal evidence of kin-based sociality in the African forest elephant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie G Schuttler

    Full Text Available Spatial patterns of relatedness within animal populations are important in the evolution of mating and social systems, and have the potential to reveal information on species that are difficult to observe in the wild. This study examines the fine-scale genetic structure and connectivity of groups within African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, which are often difficult to observe due to forest habitat. We tested the hypothesis that genetic similarity will decline with increasing geographic distance, as we expect kin to be in closer proximity, using spatial autocorrelation analyses and Tau K(r tests. Associations between individuals were investigated through a non-invasive genetic capture-recapture approach using network models, and were predicted to be more extensive than the small groups found in observational studies, similar to fission-fusion sociality found in African savanna (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus species. Dung samples were collected in Lopé National Park, Gabon in 2008 and 2010 and genotyped at 10 microsatellite loci, genetically sexed, and sequenced at the mitochondrial DNA control region. We conducted analyses on samples collected at three different temporal scales: a day, within six-day sampling sessions, and within each year. Spatial autocorrelation and Tau K(r tests revealed genetic structure, but results were weak and inconsistent between sampling sessions. Positive spatial autocorrelation was found in distance classes of 0-5 km, and was strongest for the single day session. Despite weak genetic structure, individuals within groups were significantly more related to each other than to individuals between groups. Social networks revealed some components to have large, extensive groups of up to 22 individuals, and most groups were composed of individuals of the same matriline. Although fine-scale population genetic structure was weak, forest elephants are typically found in groups consisting of kin and

  8. Mom's shadow: structure-from-motion in newly hatched chicks as revealed by an imprinting procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascalzoni, Elena; Regolin, Lucia; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2009-03-01

    The ability to recognize three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional (2-D) displays was investigated in domestic chicks, focusing on the role of the object's motion. In Experiment 1 newly hatched chicks, imprinted on a three-dimensional (3-D) object, were allowed to choose between the shadows of the familiar object and of an object never seen before. In Experiments 2 and 3 random-dot displays were used to produce the perception of a solid shape only when set in motion. Overall, the results showed that domestic chicks were able to recognize familiar shapes from 2-D motion stimuli. It is likely that similar general mechanisms underlying the perception of structure-from-motion and the extraction of 3-D information are shared by humans and animals. The present data shows that they occur similarly in birds as known for mammals, two separate vertebrate classes; this possibly indicates a common phylogenetic origin of these processes.

  9. Structure and thermal history of the H-chondrite parent asteroid revealed by thermochronometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trieloff, Mario; Jessberger, Elmar K; Herrwerth, Ingrid; Hopp, Jens; Fiéni, Christine; Ghélis, Marianne; Bourot-Denise, Michèle; Pellas, Paul

    2003-04-03

    Our Solar System formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of a dense core inside an interstellar molecular cloud. The subsequent formation of solid bodies took place rapidly. The period of &chondritic meteorites experienced comparatively mild thermal metamorphism that was insufficient to separate metal from silicate. There is debate about the nature of the heat source as well as the structure and cooling history of the parent bodies. Here we report a study of 244Pu fission-track and 40Ar-39Ar thermochronologies of unshocked H chondrites, which are presumed to have a common, single, parent body. We show that, after fast accretion, an internal heating source (most probably 26Al decay) resulted in a layered parent body that cooled relatively undisturbed: rocks in the outer shells reached lower maximum metamorphic temperatures and cooled faster than the more recrystallized and chemically equilibrated rocks from the centre, which needed approximately 160 Myr to reach 390K.

  10. LeuT-Desipramine Structure Reveals How Antidepressants Block Neurotransmitter Reuptake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou,Z.; Zhen, J.; Karpowich, N.; Goetz, R.; Law, C.; Reith, M.; Wang, D.

    2007-01-01

    Tricyclic antidepressants exert their pharmacological effect -- inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine -- by directly blocking neurotransmitter transporters (SERT, NET, and DAT, respectively) in the presynaptic membrane. The drug-binding site and the mechanism of this inhibition are poorly understood. We determined the crystal structure at 2.9 angstroms of the bacterial leucine transporter (LeuT), a homolog of SERT, NET, and DAT, in complex with leucine and the antidepressant desipramine. Desipramine binds at the inner end of the extracellular cavity of the transporter and is held in place by a hairpin loop and by a salt bridge. This binding site is separated from the leucine-binding site by the extracellular gate of the transporter. By directly locking the gate, desipramine prevents conformational changes and blocks substrate transport. Mutagenesis experiments on human SERT and DAT indicate that both the desipramine-binding site and its inhibition mechanism are probably conserved in the human neurotransmitter transporters.

  11. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wernimont, Amy K; Artz, Jennifer D.; Jr, Patrick Finerty; Lin, Yu-Hui; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond (Toronto); (WU-MED)

    2010-09-21

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites and comprise a calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK)-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal-transduction pathways.

  12. Vortex magnetic structure in framboidal magnetite reveals existence of water droplets in an ancient asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuki; Sato, Takeshi; Nakamura, Norihiro; Nozawa, Jun; Nakamura, Tomoki; Tsukamoto, Katsuo; Yamamoto, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The majority of water has vanished from modern meteorites, yet there remain signatures of water on ancient asteroids. How and when water disappeared from the asteroids is important, because the final fluid-concentrated chemical species played critical roles in the early evolution of organics and in the final minerals in meteorites. Here we show evidence of vestigial traces of water based on a nanometre-scale palaeomagnetic method, applying electron holography to the framboids in the Tagish Lake meteorite. The framboids are colloidal crystals composed of three-dimensionally ordered magnetite nanoparticles and therefore are only able to form against the repulsive force induced by the surface charge of the magnetite as a water droplet parches in microgravity. We demonstrate that the magnetites have a flux closure vortex structure, a unique magnetic configuration in nature that permits the formation of colloidal crystals just before exhaustion of water from a local system within a hydrous asteroid.

  13. Super-resolution microscopy reveals structural diversity in molecular exchange among peptide amphiphile nanofibres

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Ricardo M. P.; van der Zwaag, Daan; Albertazzi, Lorenzo; Lee, Sungsoo S.; Meijer, E. W.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2016-05-01

    The dynamic behaviour of supramolecular systems is an important dimension of their potential functions. Here, we report on the use of stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy to study the molecular exchange of peptide amphiphile nanofibres, supramolecular systems known to have important biomedical functions. Solutions of nanofibres labelled with different dyes (Cy3 and Cy5) were mixed, and the distribution of dyes inserting into initially single-colour nanofibres was quantified using correlative image analysis. Our observations are consistent with an exchange mechanism involving monomers or small clusters of molecules inserting randomly into a fibre. Different exchange rates are observed within the same fibre, suggesting that local cohesive structures exist on the basis of β-sheet discontinuous domains. The results reported here show that peptide amphiphile supramolecular systems can be dynamic and that their intermolecular interactions affect exchange patterns. This information can be used to generate useful aggregate morphologies for improved biomedical function.

  14. Structure of Hepatitis E Virion-Sized Particle Reveals an RNA-Dependent Viral Assembly Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xing, L.; Wall, J.; Li, T.-C.; Mayazaki, N.; Simon, M. N.; Moore, M.; Wang, C.-Y.; Takeda, N.; Wakita, T.; Miyamura, T.; Cheng, R. H.

    2010-10-22

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) induces acute hepatitis in humans with a high fatality rate in pregnant women. There is a need for anti-HEV research to understand the assembly process of HEV native capsid. Here, we produced a large virion-sized and a small T=1 capsid by expressing the HEV capsid protein in insect cells with and without the N-terminal 111 residues, respectively, for comparative structural analysis. The virion-sized capsid demonstrates a T=3 icosahedral lattice and contains RNA fragment in contrast to the RNA-free T=1 capsid. However, both capsids shared common decameric organization. The in vitro assembly further demonstrated that HEV capsid protein had the intrinsic ability to form decameric intermediate. Our data suggest that RNA binding is the extrinsic factor essential for the assembly of HEV native capsids.

  15. Structure of TSA2 reveals novel features of the active-site loop of peroxiredoxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Maja Holch; Kidmose, Rune Thomas; Jenner, Lasse Bohl

    2016-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae TSA2 belongs to the family of typical 2-Cys peroxiredoxins, a ubiquitously expressed family of redox-active enzymes that utilize a conserved peroxidatic cysteine to reduce peroxides. Typical 2-Cys peroxiredoxins have been shown to be involved in protection against oxidative...... stress and in hydrogen peroxide signalling. Furthermore, several 2-Cys peroxiredoxins, including S. cerevisiae TSA1 and TSA2, are able to switch to chaperone activity upon hyperoxidation of their peroxidatic cysteine. This makes the sensitivity to hyperoxidation of the peroxidatic cysteine a very...... the reactivity and the sensitivity to hyperoxidation. Furthermore, the structure also explains the observed difference in the pKa values of the peroxidatic cysteines of S. cerevisiae TSA1 and TSA2 despite their very high sequence identity....

  16. Crystal structure of listeriolysin O reveals molecular details of oligomerization and pore formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köster, Stefan; van Pee, Katharina; Hudel, Martina; Leustik, Martin; Rhinow, Daniel; Kühlbrandt, Werner; Chakraborty, Trinad; Yildiz, Özkan

    2014-04-01

    Listeriolysin O (LLO) is an essential virulence factor of Listeria monocytogenes that causes listeriosis. Listeria monocytogenes owes its ability to live within cells to the pH- and temperature-dependent pore-forming activity of LLO, which is unique among cholesterol-dependent cytolysins. LLO enables the bacteria to cross the phagosomal membrane and is also involved in activation of cellular processes, including the modulation of gene expression or intracellular Ca2+ oscillations. Neither the pore-forming mechanism nor the mechanisms triggering the signalling processes in the host cell are known in detail. Here, we report the crystal structure of LLO, in which we identified regions important for oligomerization and pore formation. Mutants were characterized by determining their haemolytic and Ca2+ uptake activity. We analysed the pore formation of LLO and its variants on erythrocyte ghosts by electron microscopy and show that pore formation requires precise interface interactions during toxin oligomerization on the membrane.

  17. A structure-toxicity study of Aß42 reveals a new anti-parallel aggregation pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène Vignaud

    Full Text Available Amyloid beta (Aβ peptides produced by APP cleavage are central to the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Despite widespread interest in this issue, the relationship between the auto-assembly and toxicity of these peptides remains controversial. One intriguing feature stems from their capacity to form anti-parallel ß-sheet oligomeric intermediates that can be converted into a parallel topology to allow the formation of protofibrillar and fibrillar Aβ. Here, we present a novel approach to determining the molecular aspects of Aß assembly that is responsible for its in vivo toxicity. We selected Aß mutants with varying intracellular toxicities. In vitro, only toxic Aß (including wild-type Aß42 formed urea-resistant oligomers. These oligomers were able to assemble into fibrils that are rich in anti-parallel ß-sheet structures. Our results support the existence of a new pathway that depends on the folding capacity of Aß .

  18. Structures of Adnectin/Protein Complexes Reveal an Expanded Binding Footprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramamurthy, Vidhyashankar; Krystek, Jr., Stanley R.; Bush, Alexander; Wei, Anzhi; Emanuel, Stuart L.; Gupta, Ruchira Das; Janjua, Ahsen; Cheng, Lin; Murdock, Melissa; Abramczyk, Bozena; Cohen, Daniel; Lin, Zheng; Morin, Paul; Davis, Jonathan H.; Dabritz, Michael; McLaughlin, Douglas C.; Russo, Katie A.; Chao, Ginger; Wright, Martin C.; Jenny, Victoria A.; Engle, Linda J.; Furfine, Eric; Sheriff, Steven (BMS)

    2014-10-02

    Adnectins are targeted biologics derived from the tenth type III domain of human fibronectin ({sup 10}Fn3), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily. Target-specific binders are selected from libraries generated by diversifying the three {sup 10}Fn3 loops that are analogous to the complementarity determining regions of antibodies. The crystal structures of two Adnectins were determined, each in complex with its therapeutic target, EGFR or IL-23. Both Adnectins bind different epitopes than those bound by known monoclonal antibodies. Molecular modeling suggests that some of these epitopes might not be accessible to antibodies because of the size and concave shape of the antibody combining site. In addition to interactions from the Adnectin diversified loops, residues from the N terminus and/or the {beta} strands interact with the target proteins in both complexes. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis confirmed the calculated binding energies of these {beta} strand interactions, indicating that these nonloop residues can expand the available binding footprint.

  19. Galaxy evolution. Quasar quartet embedded in giant nebula reveals rare massive structure in distant universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennawi, Joseph F; Prochaska, J Xavier; Cantalupo, Sebastiano; Arrigoni-Battaia, Fabrizio

    2015-05-15

    All galaxies once passed through a hyperluminous quasar phase powered by accretion onto a supermassive black hole. But because these episodes are brief, quasars are rare objects typically separated by cosmological distances. In a survey for Lyman-α emission at redshift z ≈ 2, we discovered a physical association of four quasars embedded in a giant nebula. Located within a substantial overdensity of galaxies, this system is probably the progenitor of a massive galaxy cluster. The chance probability of finding a quadruple quasar is estimated to be ∼10(-7), implying a physical connection between Lyman-α nebulae and the locations of rare protoclusters. Our findings imply that the most massive structures in the distant universe have a tremendous supply (≃10(11) solar masses) of cool dense (volume density ≃ 1 cm(-3)) gas, which is in conflict with current cosmological simulations. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Musical Creativity "Revealed" in Brain Structure: Interplay between Motor, Default Mode, and Limbic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashwiner, David M; Wertz, Christopher J; Flores, Ranee A; Jung, Rex E

    2016-02-18

    Creative behaviors are among the most complex that humans engage in, involving not only highly intricate, domain-specific knowledge and skill, but also domain-general processing styles and the affective drive to create. This study presents structural imaging data indicating that musically creative people (as indicated by self-report) have greater cortical surface area or volume in a) regions associated with domain-specific higher-cognitive motor activity and sound processing (dorsal premotor cortex, supplementary and pre-supplementary motor areas, and planum temporale), b) domain-general creative-ideation regions associated with the default mode network (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, middle temporal gyrus, and temporal pole), and c) emotion-related regions (orbitofrontal cortex, temporal pole, and amygdala). These findings suggest that domain-specific musical expertise, default-mode cognitive processing style, and intensity of emotional experience might all coordinate to motivate and facilitate the drive to create music.

  1. LeuT-desipramine structure reveals how antidepressants block neurotransmitter reuptake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zheng; Zhen, Juan; Karpowich, Nathan K; Goetz, Regina M; Law, Christopher J; Reith, Maarten E A; Wang, Da-Neng

    2007-09-07

    Tricyclic antidepressants exert their pharmacological effect-inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine-by directly blocking neurotransmitter transporters (SERT, NET, and DAT, respectively) in the presynaptic membrane. The drug-binding site and the mechanism of this inhibition are poorly understood. We determined the crystal structure at 2.9 angstroms of the bacterial leucine transporter (LeuT), a homolog of SERT, NET, and DAT, in complex with leucine and the antidepressant desipramine. Desipramine binds at the inner end of the extracellular cavity of the transporter and is held in place by a hairpin loop and by a salt bridge. This binding site is separated from the leucine-binding site by the extracellular gate of the transporter. By directly locking the gate, desipramine prevents conformational changes and blocks substrate transport. Mutagenesis experiments on human SERT and DAT indicate that both the desipramine-binding site and its inhibition mechanism are probably conserved in the human neurotransmitter transporters.

  2. Exciton interference revealed by energy dependent exciton transfer rate for ring-structured molecular systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, Yun-An, E-mail: yunan@gznc.edu.cn [Guizhou Provincial Key Laboratory of Computational Nanomaterial Science, Guizhou Education University, Guiyang, Guizhou 550018 (China)

    2016-01-14

    The quantum interference is an intrinsic phenomenon in quantum physics for photon and massive quantum particles. In principle, the quantum interference may also occur with quasi-particles, such as the exciton. In this study, we show how the exciton quantum interference can be significant in aggregates through theoretical simulations with hierarchical equations of motion. The systems under investigation are generalized donor-bridge-acceptor model aggregates with the donor consisting of six homogeneous sites assuming the nearest neighbor coupling. For the models with single-path bridge, the exciton transfer time only shows a weak excitation energy dependence. But models with double-path bridge have a new short transfer time scale and the excitation energy dependence of the exciton transfer time assumes clear peak structure which is detectable with today’s nonlinear spectroscopy. This abnormality is attributed to the exciton quantum interference and the condition for a clear observation in experiment is also explored.

  3. Quasar Quartet Embedded in Giant Nebula Reveals Rare Massive Structure in Distant Universe

    CERN Document Server

    Hennawi, Joseph F; Cantalupo, Sebastiano; Arrigoni-Battaia, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    All galaxies once passed through a hyperluminous quasar phase powered by accretion onto a supermassive black hole. But because these episodes are brief, quasars are rare objects typically separated by cosmological distances. In a survey for Lyman-alpha emission at redshift z ~ 2, we discovered a physical association of four quasars embedded in a giant nebula. Located within a substantial overdensity of galaxies, this system is probably the progenitor of a massive galaxy cluster. The chance probability of finding a quadruple quasar is estimated to be ~10^-7, implying a physical connection between Lyman-alpha nebulae and the locations of rare protoclusters. Our findings imply that the most massive structures in the distant universe have a tremendous supply (~ 10^11 solar masses) of cool dense (volume density ~1 cm^-3) gas, which is in conflict with current cosmological simulations.

  4. Structure of the vacuolar H+-ATPase rotary motor reveals new mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Shaun; Phillips, Clair; Huss, Markus; Tiburcy, Felix; Wieczorek, Helmut; Trinick, John; Harrison, Michael A; Muench, Stephen P

    2015-03-03

    Vacuolar H(+)-ATPases are multisubunit complexes that operate with rotary mechanics and are essential for membrane proton transport throughout eukaryotes. Here we report a ∼ 1 nm resolution reconstruction of a V-ATPase in a different conformational state from that previously reported for a lower-resolution yeast model. The stator network of the V-ATPase (and by implication that of other rotary ATPases) does not change conformation in different catalytic states, and hence must be relatively rigid. We also demonstrate that a conserved bearing in the catalytic domain is electrostatic, contributing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of rotary ATPases. Analysis of the rotor axle/membrane pump interface suggests how rotary ATPases accommodate different c ring stoichiometries while maintaining high efficiency. The model provides evidence for a half channel in the proton pump, supporting theoretical models of ion translocation. Our refined model therefore provides new insights into the structure and mechanics of the V-ATPases.

  5. Mesoscopic Structures Reveal the Network Between the Layers of Multiplex Datasets

    CERN Document Server

    Iacovacci, Jacopo; Bianconi, Ginestra

    2015-01-01

    Multiplex networks describe a large variety of complex systems, whose elements (nodes) can be connected by different types of interactions forming different layers (networks) of the multiplex. Multiplex networks include social networks, transportation networks or biological networks in the cell or in the brain. Extracting relevant information from these networks is of crucial importance for solving challenging inference problems and for characterizing the multiplex networks microscopic and mesoscopic structure. Here we propose an information theory method to extract the network between the layers of multiplex datasets, forming a "network of networks". We build an indicator function, based on the entropy of network ensembles, to characterize the mesoscopic similarities between the layers of a multiplex network and we use clustering techniques to characterize the communities present in this network of networks. We apply the proposed method to study the Multiplex Collaboration Network formed by scientists collab...

  6. Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Eunjung; Carbonetto, Peter; Curtis, Ross E.; Wang, Yong; Granka, Julie M.; Byrnes, Jake; Noto, Keith; Kermany, Amir R.; Myres, Natalie M.; Barber, Mathew J.; Rand, Kristin A.; Song, Shiya; Roman, Theodore; Battat, Erin; Elyashiv, Eyal; Guturu, Harendra; Hong, Eurie L.; Chahine, Kenneth G.; Ball, Catherine A.

    2017-02-01

    Despite strides in characterizing human history from genetic polymorphism data, progress in identifying genetic signatures of recent demography has been limited. Here we identify very recent fine-scale population structure in North America from a network of over 500 million genetic (identity-by-descent, IBD) connections among 770,000 genotyped individuals of US origin. We detect densely connected clusters within the network and annotate these clusters using a database of over 20 million genealogical records. Recent population patterns captured by IBD clustering include immigrants such as Scandinavians and French Canadians; groups with continental admixture such as Puerto Ricans; settlers such as the Amish and Appalachians who experienced geographic or cultural isolation; and broad historical trends, including reduced north-south gene flow. Our results yield a detailed historical portrait of North America after European settlement and support substantial genetic heterogeneity in the United States beyond that uncovered by previous studies.

  7. Jupiter's Deep Cloud Structure Revealed Using Keck Observations of Spectrally Resolved Line Shapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjoraker, G. L.; Wong, M.H.; de Pater, I.; Adamkovics, M.

    2015-01-01

    Technique: We present a method to determine the pressure at which significant cloud opacity is present between 2 and 6 bars on Jupiter. We use: a) the strength of a Fraunhofer absorption line in a zone to determine the ratio of reflected sunlight to thermal emission, and b) pressure- broadened line profiles of deuterated methane (CH3D) at 4.66 meters to determine the location of clouds. We use radiative transfer models to constrain the altitude region of both the solar and thermal components of Jupiter's 5-meter spectrum. Results: For nearly all latitudes on Jupiter the thermal component is large enough to constrain the deep cloud structure even when upper clouds are present. We find that Hot Spots, belts, and high latitudes have broader line profiles than do zones. Radiative transfer models show that Hot Spots in the North and South Equatorial Belts (NEB, SEB) typically do not have opaque clouds at pressures greater than 2 bars. The South Tropical Zone (STZ) at 32 degrees South has an opaque cloud top between 4 and 5 bars. From thermochemical models this must be a water cloud. We measured the variation of the equivalent width of CH3D with latitude for comparison with Jupiter's belt-zone structure. We also constrained the vertical profile of H2O in an SEB Hot Spot and in the STZ. The Hot Spot is very dry for a probability less than 4.5 bars and then follows the H2O profile observed by the Galileo Probe. The STZ has a saturated H2O profile above its cloud top between 4 and 5 bars.

  8. Diversity and genetic structure of Ornithogalum L. (Hyacinthaceae populations as revealed by RAPD-PCR markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrić Andrijana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD PCR method was used to assess the level of diversity and genetic structure in Ornithogalum L. populations from Serbia and Hungary with the main goal of improving the knowledge of this genus in the given region. The material was collected from 19 populations and identified as two morphologically similar and phylogenetically close taxa: O. umbellatum L. 1753 and O. divergens Boreau 1887. All ten RAPD primers used for the analysis gave PCR products, with length between 3000bp and 300bp. There were 101 amplified fragments in total; number of polymorphic bands per primer varied between seven and 13. Percentage of polymorphic loci was 96% in total and 12% in average in each population. Genetic variation statistics for all loci also showed that genetic diversity for all populations was 0.29 and Shannon index 0.45, while mean values for these parameters calculated for each population were 0.04 and 0.06, respectively. Analysis of molecular variance demonstrated high population genetic differentiation; however Mantel test showed no significant correlation between geographic distances of populations and genetic distances expressed through population pairwise FST. UPGMA dendrogram based on Jaccard genetic similarity coefficients showed subclustering and principal coordinate analysis based on Nei and Li coefficients of genetic distances indicated grouping. Analysis of populations genetic structure was in accordance with these results and clearly separated populations of O. umbellatum from O. divergens. RAPDs proved to be a reliable and rapid method suitable for distinguishing genetic differentiation in Ornithogalum, thus could be applied as a useful additional tool in resolving taxonomic problems. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 173002

  9. Structural organization of the intact bacterial cellulosome as revealed by electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madkour, Mohamed; Mayer, Frank

    2003-01-01

    The architecture of the intact cellulosome of Clostridium thermocellum, a huge extracellular multi-polypetide bacterial enzyme complex engaged in degradation of cellulose, was investigated by electron microscopy. This was done because former electron microscopic studies aimed at elucidation of the structure of polycellulosomes and cellulosomes were restricted by the fact that data on macromolecular details could only be derived from deformed or disrupted enzyme complexes, or by application of cryo preparation and imaging techniques yielding insufficient resolution. The shape of well-preserved cellulosomes was more or less spherical, often similar to that of an olive fruit with a cavity. Therein, multiple fibrillar structures could be visualized, interpreted to be the proximal stretches of copies of the fibrillar protein Cip A ('scaffoldin'), the nonenzymatic scaffolding protein known to function as attachment site for the enzymatic subunits, as well as fibrillar parts of anchoring proteins. The enzymatic subunits were depicted to be attached, in a repetitive fashion, to the distal stretches of the Cip A proteins. The enzymatic subunits were seen, in the intact cellulosome, to form a shell-like complex substructure surrounding the cavity. Obviously, this kind of architecture makes sure that the catalytic domains of the enzymatic subunits are exposed to the environment, and, hence, to the substrate, the cellulose fibrils. Attempts were made to demonstrate the alternating occurrence of coiled domains and fibrillar stretches along the elongated protein Cip A previously characterized by sequencing, X-ray, and NMR studies. To this end, Cip A molecules, with adhering enzymatic subunits, were partially removed from their native location within the cellulosome, "stretched" by hydromechanical forces directly on the electron microscopic support film, negatively stained, and depicted by electron microscopy. The alternating occurrence of presumed coiled domains and fibrillar

  10. Combined structural and functional imaging reveals cortical deactivations in grapheme-colour synaesthesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eO'Hanlon

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Synaesthesia is a heritable condition in which particular stimuli generate specific and consistent sensory percepts or associations in another modality or processing stream. Functional neuroimaging studies have identified potential correlates of these experiences, including, in some but not all cases, the hyperactivation of visuotemporal areas and of parietal areas thought to be involved in perceptual binding. Structural studies have identified a similarly variable spectrum of differences between synaesthetes and controls. However, it remains unclear the extent to which these neural correlates reflect the synaesthetic experience itself or additional phenotypes associated with the condition. Here, we acquired both structural and functional neuroimaging data comparing thirteen grapheme-colour synaesthetes with eleven non-synaesthetes. Using voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging, we identify a number of clusters of increased volume of grey matter, of white matter or of increased fractional anisotropy in synaesthetes versus controls. To assess the possible involvement of these areas in the synaesthetic experience, we used nine areas of increased grey matter volume as regions of interest in an fMRI experiment that characterised the contrast in response to stimuli which induced synaesthesia (i.e. letters versus those which did not (non-meaningful symbols. Two of these areas, in left lateral occipital cortex and in postcentral gyrus, showed sensitivity to this contrast in synaesthetes but not controls. Unexpectedly, in both regions, the letter stimuli produced a strong negative BOLD signal in synaesthetes. An additional whole-brain fMRI analysis identified fourteen areas, three of which were driven mainly by a negative BOLD response to letters in synaesthetes. Our findings suggest that cortical deactivations may be involved in the conscious experience of internally generated synaesthetic percepts

  11. The structure and usage of female and male mouse ultrasonic vocalizations reveal only minor differences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt Hammerschmidt

    Full Text Available Ultrasonic vocalizations (USV of mice are increasingly recognized as informative dependent variables in studies using mouse models of human diseases. While pup vocalizations primarily serve to re-establish contact with the mother, adult male "songs" were considered to be courtship signals. Alternatively, mouse USVs may generally function as territorial signals. To distinguish between these two hypotheses, we compared the structure and usage of adult male and female USVs in staged resident-intruder encounters. If calls function primarily as courtship signals, males should respond stronger than females, specifically when presented with a female intruder. Refuting this hypothesis, we found that in response to female intruders, females called more than males (228±32 calls/min vs. 71±15 calls/min, and males called more to female than to male intruders (14±7.5 calls/min. There were no significant differences in the acoustic characteristics of the calls given by females and males. To control for the influence of the intruder's behavior on calling, we repeated the experiments using anaesthetized intruders. Again, females produced more calls to female than male intruders (173±17 calls/min vs. 71±15 calls/min, while males called more in response to female than male intruders (39±17 calls/min, and there were no acoustic differences in female and male calls. The vocal activity did not differ significantly with regard to intruder state (awake or anaesthetized, while the acoustic structure exhibited significant differences. Taken together, our findings support the view that calls do not mainly function as courtship signals, although they might serve both a territorial (sex-independent and a courtship function. The comparison of responses to awake vs. anaesthetized intruders suggests that the latter are sufficient to elicit vocal activity. The subtle acoustic differences, however, indicate that the subject differentiates between intruder states.

  12. SAHKE geophysical transect reveals crustal and subduction zone structure at the southern Hikurangi margin, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrys, S.; Wech, A.; Sutherland, R.; Stern, T.; Savage, M.; Sato, H.; Mochizuki, K.; Iwasaki, T.; Okaya, D.; Seward, A.; Tozer, B.; Townend, J.; Kurashimo, E.; Iidaka, T.; Ishiyama, T.

    2013-07-01

    The Seismic Array Hikurangi Experiment (SAHKE) investigated the structure of the forearc and subduction plate boundary beneath the southern North Island along a 350 km transect. Tomographic inversion of first-arrival travel times was used to derive a well-resolved 15-20 km deep P wave image of the crust. The refracted phases and migrated reflection events image subducting slab geometry and crustal structure. In the west, Australian Plate Moho depth decreases westward across the Taranaki Fault system from 35 to ˜28-30 km. In the east, subducted Pacific Plate oceanic crust is recognized to have a positive velocity gradient, but becomes less distinct beneath the Tararua Ranges, where the interface increases in dip at about 15 km depth from 15°. This bend in the subducted plate is associated with vertical clusters in seismicity, splay fault branching, and low-velocity high-attenuation material that we interpret to be an underplated subduction sedimentary channel. We infer that a step down in the decollément transfers slip on the plate interface at the top of a subduction channel to the oceanic crust and drives local uplift of the Tararua Ranges. Reflections from the Wairarapa Fault show that it is listric and soles into the top of underplated sediments, which in turn abut the Moho of the overriding plate at ˜32 km depth, near the downdip end of the strongly locked zone. The change in dip of the Hikurangi subduction interface is spatially correlated with the transition from geodetically determined locked to unlocked areas of the plate interface.

  13. In vivo imaging of germinal centres reveals a dynamic open structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwickert, Tanja A; Lindquist, Randall L; Shakhar, Guy; Livshits, Geulah; Skokos, Dimitris; Kosco-Vilbois, Marie H; Dustin, Michael L; Nussenzweig, Michel C

    2007-03-01

    Germinal centres are specialized structures wherein B lymphocytes undergo clonal expansion, class switch recombination, antibody gene diversification and affinity maturation. Three to four antigen-specific B cells colonize a follicle to establish a germinal centre and become rapidly dividing germinal-centre centroblasts that give rise to dark zones. Centroblasts produce non-proliferating centrocytes that are thought to migrate to the light zone of the germinal centre, which is rich in antigen-trapping follicular dendritic cells and CD4+ T cells. It has been proposed that centrocytes are selected in the light zone on the basis of their ability to bind cognate antigen. However, there have been no studies of germinal-centre dynamics or the migratory behaviour of germinal-centre cells in vivo. Here we report the direct visualization of B cells in lymph node germinal centres by two-photon laser-scanning microscopy in mice. Nearly all antigen-specific B cells participating in a germinal-centre reaction were motile and physically restricted to the germinal centre but migrated bi-directionally between dark and light zones. Notably, follicular B cells were frequent visitors to the germinal-centre compartment, suggesting that all B cells scan antigen trapped in germinal centres. Consistent with this observation, we found that high-affinity antigen-specific B cells can be recruited to an ongoing germinal-centre reaction. We conclude that the open structure of germinal centres enhances competition and ensures that rare high-affinity B cells can participate in antibody responses.

  14. Substrate-bound Structures of Benzylsuccinate Synthase Reveal How Toluene Is Activated in Anaerobic Hydrocarbon Degradation*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Michael A.; Marsh, E. Neil G.; Drennan, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Various bacteria perform anaerobic degradation of small hydrocarbons as a source of energy and cellular carbon. To activate non-reactive hydrocarbons such as toluene, enzymes conjugate these molecules to fumarate in a radical-catalyzed, C—C bond-forming reaction. We have determined x-ray crystal structures of the glycyl radical enzyme that catalyzes the addition of toluene to fumarate, benzylsuccinate synthase (BSS), in two oligomeric states with fumarate alone or with both substrates. We find that fumarate is secured at the bottom of a long active site cavity with toluene bound directly above it. The two substrates adopt orientations that appear ideal for radical-mediated C—C bond formation; the methyl group of toluene is positioned between fumarate and a cysteine that forms a thiyl radical during catalysis, which is in turn adjacent to the glycine that serves as a radical storage residue. Toluene is held in place by fumarate on one face and tight packing by hydrophobic residues on the other face and sides. These hydrophobic residues appear to become ordered, thus encapsulating toluene, only in the presence of BSSβ, a small protein subunit that forms a tight complex with BSSα, the catalytic subunit. Enzymes related to BSS are able to metabolize a wide range of hydrocarbons through attachment to fumarate. Using our structures as a guide, we have constructed homology models of several of these “X-succinate synthases” and determined conservation patterns that will be useful in understanding the basis for catalysis and specificity in this family of enzymes. PMID:26224635

  15. Comparative proteomics reveals a significant bias toward alternative protein isoforms with conserved structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezkurdia, Iakes; del Pozo, Angela; Frankish, Adam; Rodriguez, Jose Manuel; Harrow, Jennifer; Ashman, Keith; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L

    2012-09-01

    Advances in high-throughput mass spectrometry are making proteomics an increasingly important tool in genome annotation projects. Peptides detected in mass spectrometry experiments can be used to validate gene models and verify the translation of putative coding sequences (CDSs). Here, we have identified peptides that cover 35% of the genes annotated by the GENCODE consortium for the human genome as part of a comprehensive analysis of experimental spectra from two large publicly available mass spectrometry databases. We detected the translation to protein of "novel" and "putative" protein-coding transcripts as well as transcripts annotated as pseudogenes and nonsense-mediated decay targets. We provide a detailed overview of the population of alternatively spliced protein isoforms that are detectable by peptide identification methods. We found that 150 genes expressed multiple alternative protein isoforms. This constitutes the largest set of reliably confirmed alternatively spliced proteins yet discovered. Three groups of genes were highly overrepresented. We detected alternative isoforms for 10 of the 25 possible heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins, proteins with a key role in the splicing process. Alternative isoforms generated from interchangeable homologous exons and from short indels were also significantly enriched, both in human experiments and in parallel analyses of mouse and Drosophila proteomics experiments. Our results show that a surprisingly high proportion (almost 25%) of the detected alternative isoforms are only subtly different from their constitutive counterparts. Many of the alternative splicing events that give rise to these alternative isoforms are conserved in mouse. It was striking that very few of these conserved splicing events broke Pfam functional domains or would damage globular protein structures. This evidence of a strong bias toward subtle differences in CDS and likely conserved cellular function and structure is remarkable and

  16. Structural Basis for Flip-Flop Action of Thiamin-Dependent Enzymes Revealed by Crystal Structure of Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciszak, Ewa; Korotchkina, Lioubov G.; Dominiak, Paulina M.; Sidhu, Sukdeep; Patel, Mulchand S.

    2003-01-01

    The biologically active derivative of vitamin B1; thiamin pyrophosphate; is used as cofactor by many enzymes that perform a wide range of catalytic functions in the pathways of energy production. In alpha2beta2-heterotetrameric human pyruvate dehydrogenase, the first catalytic component enzyme of human pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, this cofactor is used to cleave the C(sup alpha)-C(=0) bond of pyruvate followed by reductive acetyl transfer to lipoyl-dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, the second catalytic component of the complex. The dynamic nonequivalence of two, otherwise chemically equivalent, catalytic sites have puzzled researchers from earlier functional studies of this enzyme. In order to gain insight into the mechanism of action of this enzyme, we determined the crystal structure of the holoform of human pyruvate dehydrogenase at 1.958, resolution. We propose a kinetic model for the flip-flop action of this enzyme through the concerted approx. 2A, shuttle-like motion of the heterodimers. The similarity of thiamin pyrophosphate binding in human pyruvate dehydrogenase and other functionally related enzymes suggests this newly defined mechanism of shuttle-like motion of domains to be common for the family of thiamin pyrophosphate-dependent enzymes.

  17. Evolutionary, structural and functional relationships revealed by comparative analysis of syntenic genes in Rhizobiales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medrano-Soto Arturo

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative genomics has provided valuable insights into the nature of gene sequence variation and chromosomal organization of closely related bacterial species. However, questions about the biological significance of gene order conservation, or synteny, remain open. Moreover, few comprehensive studies have been reported for rhizobial genomes. Results We analyzed the genomic sequences of four fast growing Rhizobiales (Sinorhizobium meliloti, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Mesorhizobium loti and Brucella melitensis. We made a comprehensive gene classification to define chromosomal orthologs, genes with homologs in other replicons such as plasmids, and those which were species-specific. About two thousand genes were predicted to be orthologs in each chromosome and about 80% of these were syntenic. A striking gene colinearity was found in pairs of organisms and a large fraction of the microsyntenic regions and operons were similar. Syntenic products showed higher identity levels than non-syntenic ones, suggesting a resistance to sequence variation due to functional constraints; also, an unusually high fraction of syntenic products contained membranal segments. Syntenic genes encode a high proportion of essential cell functions, presented a high level of functional relationships and a very low horizontal gene transfer rate. The sequence variability of the proteins can be considered the species signature in response to specific niche adaptation. Comparatively, an analysis with genomes of Enterobacteriales showed a different gene organization but gave similar results in the synteny conservation, essential role of syntenic genes and higher functional linkage among the genes of the microsyntenic regions. Conclusion Syntenic bacterial genes represent a commonly evolved group. They not only reveal the core chromosomal segments present in the last common ancestor and determine the metabolic characteristics shared by these microorganisms

  18. Can isotopic variations in structural water of gypsum reveal paleoclimatic changes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, E.; Bustos, D.; Coleman, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    Water of crystallization in gypsum can be used as paleo-environmental proxy to study large scale climatic variability in arid areas. This is because changes in the isotopic composition of water of crystallization are due to isotopic variations in the mother brine from which the mineral precipitated, and the brine isotopic composition is linked to evaporation processes and humidity. This is particularly important when the salts are the only traces left of the original water, i.e. in modern arid areas. This study aims to prove that the 2-D/18-O compositions of the water of crystallization extracted from successive precipitates or even different growth zones of natural gypsum (CaSO4·H2O) can reconstruct the evaporation history and paleo-humidity of the source water basin. The method was tested in a laboratory experiment that evaporated CaSO4 brines under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. The brine was left to evaporate for five days at two different humidities (45 and 75 RH%); subsequently, brines and precipitated gypsum were sampled at 24 hour intervals. In this way we simulated zoned growth of gypsum. The samples were then analyzed for oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition using a Thermo Scientific TC/EA with modified column, coupled to a MAT 253 Thermo Finnigan mass spectrometer at JPL. If preliminary results validate the novel hypothesis that changes in mineral composition can reveal details of paleo-environmental conditions the theory will be tested on natural gypsum collected from selected areas in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. The study is currently ongoing but the full dataset will be presented at the conference.

  19. Deep crustal structure of Baiyun Sag, northern South China Sea revealed from deep seismic reflection profile

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Chunju; ZHOU Di; SUN Zhen; CHEN Changmin; HAO Hujun

    2005-01-01

    This paper discusses deep crustal architecture of the Baiyun Sag of the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea based on velocity analysis, time-depth conversion and seismic interpretation of the deep seismic reflection profile DSRP-2002. The profile was acquired and processed to 14 S TWT by the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) in 2002. It extends across the Baiyun Sag of the Pearl River Mouth Basin, from the northern continental shelf of the SCS to the deepwater province. As the first deep seismic reflection profile in the Pearl River Mouth Basin,this profile reveals seismic phases from basement down to upper most mantle. The Moho surface appears in the profile as an undulating layer of varying thickness of 1-3 km. It is not a single reflector interface, but a velocity gradient or intercon- version layer. The crust thins stepwisely from the shelf to the continental slope and the abyssal plain (from north to south), and also thins under depocenters. The crustal thickness is only 7 km in the depocenter of the main Baiyun Sag, which corresponds to a Moho upwelling mirroring the basement topography. In the lower slope and the ocean-continental transition zone of the southernmost portion of the profile, three sub-parallel, NW-dipping strong reflectors found at depths around 10-21 km are interpreted as indications of a subducted Mesozoic oceanic crust. Crustal faults exist in the northern and southern boundaries of the Baiyun Sag. The intense and persistent subsidence of the Baiyun Sag might be related to the long-term activity of the crustal faults.

  20. SAXS Studies of the Endoglucanase Cel12A from Gloeophyllum trabeum Show Its Monomeric Structure and Reveal the Influence of Temperature on the Structural Stability of the Enzyme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lis S. Miotto

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Endoglucanases are key enzymes applied to the conversion of biomass aiming for second generation biofuel production. In the present study we obtained the small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS structure of the G. trabeum endo-1,4-β-glucanase Cel12A and investigated the influence of an important parameter, temperature, on both secondary and tertiary structure of the enzyme and its activity. The CD analysis for GtCel12A revealed that changes in the CD spectra starts at 55 °C and the Tm calculated from the experimental CD sigmoid curve using the Boltzmann function was 60.2 ± 0.6 °C. SAXS data showed that GtCel12A forms monomers in solution and has an elongated form with a maximum diameter of 60 ± 5 Å and a gyration radius of 19.4 ± 0.1 Å as calculated from the distance distribution function. Kratky analysis revealed that 60 °C is the critical temperature above which we observed clear indications of denaturation. Our results showed the influence of temperature on the stability and activity of enzymes and revealed novel structural features of GtCel12A.

  1. Crystal Structures of Staphylococcus epidermidis Mevalonate Diphosphate Decarboxylase Bound to Inhibitory Analogs Reveal New Insight into Substrate Binding and Catalysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barta, Michael L.; Skaff, D. Andrew; McWhorter, William J.; Herdendorf, Timothy J.; Miziorko, Henry M.; Geisbrecht, Brian V. (UMKC)

    2011-10-28

    The polyisoprenoid compound undecaprenyl phosphate is required for biosynthesis of cell wall peptidoglycans in Gram-positive bacteria, including pathogenic Enterococcus, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus spp. In these organisms, the mevalonate pathway is used to produce the precursor isoprenoid, isopentenyl 5-diphosphate. Mevalonate diphosphate decarboxylase (MDD) catalyzes formation of isopentenyl 5-diphosphate in an ATP-dependent irreversible reaction and is therefore an attractive target for inhibitor development that could lead to new antimicrobial agents. To facilitate exploration of this possibility, we report the crystal structure of Staphylococcus epidermidis MDD (1.85 {angstrom} resolution) and, to the best of our knowledge, the first structures of liganded MDD. These structures include MDD bound to the mevalonate 5-diphosphate analogs diphosphoglycolyl proline (2.05 {angstrom} resolution) and 6-fluoromevalonate diphosphate (FMVAPP; 2.2 {angstrom} resolution). Comparison of these structures provides a physical basis for the significant differences in K{sub i} values observed for these inhibitors. Inspection of enzyme/inhibitor structures identified the side chain of invariant Ser{sup 192} as making potential contributions to catalysis. Significantly, Ser {yields} Ala substitution of this side chain decreases k{sub cat} by {approx}10{sup 3}-fold, even though binding interactions between FMVAPP and this mutant are similar to those observed with wild type MDD, as judged by the 2.1 {angstrom} cocrystal structure of S192A with FMVAPP. Comparison of microbial MDD structures with those of mammalian counterparts reveals potential targets at the active site periphery that may be exploited to selectively target the microbial enzymes. These studies provide a structural basis for previous observations regarding the MDD mechanism and inform future work toward rational inhibitor design.

  2. X-Ray Crystal Structure of the Full Length Human Chitotriosidase (CHIT1 Reveals Features of Its Chitin Binding Domain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Firas Fadel

    Full Text Available Chitinases are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of chitin. Human chitotriosidase (CHIT1 is one of the two active human chitinases, involved in the innate immune response and highly expressed in a variety of diseases. CHIT1 is composed of a catalytic domain linked by a hinge to its chitin binding domain (ChBD. This latter domain belongs to the carbohydrate-binding module family 14 (CBM14 family and facilitates binding to chitin. So far, the available crystal structures of the human chitinase CHIT1 and the Acidic Mammalian Chitinase (AMCase comprise only their catalytic domain. Here, we report a crystallization strategy combining cross-seeding and micro-seeding cycles which allowed us to obtain the first crystal structure of the full length CHIT1 (CHIT1-FL at 1.95 Å resolution. The CHIT1 chitin binding domain (ChBDCHIT1 structure shows a distorted β-sandwich 3D fold, typical of CBM14 family members. Accordingly, ChBDCHIT1 presents six conserved cysteine residues forming three disulfide bridges and several exposed aromatic residues that probably are involved in chitin binding, including the highly conserved Trp465 in a surface- exposed conformation. Furthermore, ChBDCHIT1 presents a positively charged surface which may be involved in electrostatic interactions. Our data highlight the strong structural conservation of CBM14 family members and uncover the structural similarity between the human ChBDCHIT1, tachycitin and house mite dust allergens. Overall, our new CHIT1-FL structure, determined with an adapted crystallization approach, is one of the few complete bi-modular chitinase structures available and reveals the structural features of a human CBM14 domain.

  3. X-Ray Crystal Structure of the Full Length Human Chitotriosidase (CHIT1) Reveals Features of Its Chitin Binding Domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadel, Firas; Zhao, Yuguang; Cousido-Siah, Alexandra; Ruiz, Francesc X.; Mitschler, André; Podjarny, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Chitinases are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of chitin. Human chitotriosidase (CHIT1) is one of the two active human chitinases, involved in the innate immune response and highly expressed in a variety of diseases. CHIT1 is composed of a catalytic domain linked by a hinge to its chitin binding domain (ChBD). This latter domain belongs to the carbohydrate-binding module family 14 (CBM14 family) and facilitates binding to chitin. So far, the available crystal structures of the human chitinase CHIT1 and the Acidic Mammalian Chitinase (AMCase) comprise only their catalytic domain. Here, we report a crystallization strategy combining cross-seeding and micro-seeding cycles which allowed us to obtain the first crystal structure of the full length CHIT1 (CHIT1-FL) at 1.95 Å resolution. The CHIT1 chitin binding domain (ChBDCHIT1) structure shows a distorted β-sandwich 3D fold, typical of CBM14 family members. Accordingly, ChBDCHIT1 presents six conserved cysteine residues forming three disulfide bridges and several exposed aromatic residues that probably are involved in chitin binding, including the highly conserved Trp465 in a surface- exposed conformation. Furthermore, ChBDCHIT1 presents a positively charged surface which may be involved in electrostatic interactions. Our data highlight the strong structural conservation of CBM14 family members and uncover the structural similarity between the human ChBDCHIT1, tachycitin and house mite dust allergens. Overall, our new CHIT1-FL structure, determined with an adapted crystallization approach, is one of the few complete bi-modular chitinase structures available and reveals the structural features of a human CBM14 domain. PMID:27111557

  4. Solution synchrotron x-ray diffraction reveals structural details of lipid domains in ternary mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Jing; Kiss, Alexander; Pramudya, Yohanes H.; Nguyen, Lam T.; Hirst, Linda S.

    2009-03-01

    The influence of cholesterol on lipid bilayer structure is significant and the effect of cholesterol on lipid sorting and phase separation in lipid-raft-forming model membrane systems has been well investigated by microscopy methods on giant vesicles. An important consideration however is the influence of fluorescence illumination on the phase state of these lipids and this effect must be carefully minimized. In this paper, we show that synchrotron x-ray scattering on solution lipid mixtures is an effective alternative technique for the identification and characterization of the lo (liquid ordered) and ld (liquid disordered) phases. The high intensity of synchrotron x rays allows the observation of up to 5 orders of diffraction from the lo phase, whereas only two are clearly visible when the ld phase alone is present. This data can be collected in ˜1min/sample , allowing rapid generation of phase data. In this paper, we measure the lamellar spacing in both the liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered phases simultaneously, as a function of cholesterol concentration in two different ternary mixtures. We also observe evidence of a third gel-phaselike population at 10-12mol% cholesterol and determine the thickness of the bilayer for this phase. Importantly we are able to look at phase coexistence in the membrane independent of photoeffects.

  5. Solution Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction Reveals Structural Details of Lipid Domains in Ternary Mixtures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, J.; Kiss, A; Pramudya, Y; Nguyen, L; Hirst, L

    2009-01-01

    The influence of cholesterol on lipid bilayer structure is significant and the effect of cholesterol on lipid sorting and phase separation in lipid-raft-forming model membrane systems has been well investigated by microscopy methods on giant vesicles. An important consideration however is the influence of fluorescence illumination on the phase state of these lipids and this effect must be carefully minimized. In this paper, we show that synchrotron x-ray scattering on solution lipid mixtures is an effective alternative technique for the identification and characterization of the l o (liquid ordered) and l d (liquid disordered) phases. The high intensity of synchrotron x rays allows the observation of up to 5 orders of diffraction from the l o phase, whereas only two are clearly visible when the l d phase alone is present. This data can be collected in approximately 1 min/sample, allowing rapid generation of phase data. In this paper, we measure the lamellar spacing in both the liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered phases simultaneously, as a function of cholesterol concentration in two different ternary mixtures. We also observe evidence of a third gel-phaselike population at 10-12 mol % cholesterol and determine the thickness of the bilayer for this phase. Importantly we are able to look at phase coexistence in the membrane independent of photoeffects.

  6. Molecular markers reveal limited population genetic structure in a North American corvid, Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohms, Kimberly M; Burg, Theresa M

    2013-01-01

    The genetic impact of barriers and Pleistocene glaciations on high latitude resident species has not been widely investigated. The Clark's nutcracker is an endemic North American corvid closely associated with Pinus-dominated forests. The nutcracker's encompasses known barriers to dispersal for other species, and glaciated and unglaciated areas. Clark's nutcrackers also irruptively disperse long distances in search of pine seed crops, creating the potential for gene flow among populations. Using the highly variable mitochondrial DNA control region, seven microsatellite loci, and species distribution modeling, we examined the effects of glaciations and dispersal barriers on population genetic patterns and population structure of nutcrackers. We sequenced 900 bp of mitochondrial control region for 169 individuals from 15 populations and analysed seven polymorphic microsatellite loci for 13 populations across the Clark's nutcracker range. We used species distribution modeling and a range of phylogeographic analyses to examine evolutionary history. Clark's nutcracker populations are not highly differentiated throughout their range, suggesting high levels of gene flow among populations, though we did find some evidence of isolation by distance and peripheral isolation. Our analyses suggested expansion from a single refugium after the last glacial maximum, but patterns of genetic diversity and paleodistribution modeling of suitable habitat were inconclusive as to the location of this refugium. Potential barriers to dispersal (e.g. mountain ranges) do not appear to restrict gene flow in Clark's nutcracker, and postglacial expansion likely occurred quickly from a single refugium located south of the ice sheets.

  7. Molecular markers reveal limited population genetic structure in a North American corvid, Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly M Dohms

    Full Text Available The genetic impact of barriers and Pleistocene glaciations on high latitude resident species has not been widely investigated. The Clark's nutcracker is an endemic North American corvid closely associated with Pinus-dominated forests. The nutcracker's encompasses known barriers to dispersal for other species, and glaciated and unglaciated areas. Clark's nutcrackers also irruptively disperse long distances in search of pine seed crops, creating the potential for gene flow among populations. Using the highly variable mitochondrial DNA control region, seven microsatellite loci, and species distribution modeling, we examined the effects of glaciations and dispersal barriers on population genetic patterns and population structure of nutcrackers. We sequenced 900 bp of mitochondrial control region for 169 individuals from 15 populations and analysed seven polymorphic microsatellite loci for 13 populations across the Clark's nutcracker range. We used species distribution modeling and a range of phylogeographic analyses to examine evolutionary history. Clark's nutcracker populations are not highly differentiated throughout their range, suggesting high levels of gene flow among populations, though we did find some evidence of isolation by distance and peripheral isolation. Our analyses suggested expansion from a single refugium after the last glacial maximum, but patterns of genetic diversity and paleodistribution modeling of suitable habitat were inconclusive as to the location of this refugium. Potential barriers to dispersal (e.g. mountain ranges do not appear to restrict gene flow in Clark's nutcracker, and postglacial expansion likely occurred quickly from a single refugium located south of the ice sheets.

  8. The structure of the X-ray absorber in Mrk 915 revealed by Swift

    CERN Document Server

    Severgnini, P; Braito, V; Caccianiga, A; Campana, S; Della Ceca, R; Moretti, A; Vignali, C

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present the results obtained with a monitoring programme (23 days long) performed with Swift-XRT on the local Seyfert galaxy Mrk 915. The light-curve analysis shows a significant count rate variation (about a factor of 2-3) on a time-scale of a few days, while the X-ray colours show a change in the spectral curvature below 2 keV and the presence of two main spectral states. From the spectral analysis we find that the observed variations can be explained by the change of the intrinsic nuclear power (about a factor of 1.5) coupled with a change of the properties of an ionized absorber. The quality of the data prevents us from firmly establishing if the spectral variation is due to a change in the ionization state and/or in the covering factor of the absorbing medium. The latter scenario would imply a clumpy structure of the ionized medium. By combining the information provided by the light curve and the spectral analyses, we can derive some constraints on the location of the absorber under the ...

  9. Independent component analysis reveals new and biologically significant structures in micro array data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veerla Srinivas

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An alternative to standard approaches to uncover biologically meaningful structures in micro array data is to treat the data as a blind source separation (BSS problem. BSS attempts to separate a mixture of signals into their different sources and refers to the problem of recovering signals from several observed linear mixtures. In the context of micro array data, "sources" may correspond to specific cellular responses or to co-regulated genes. Results We applied independent component analysis (ICA to three different microarray data sets; two tumor data sets and one time series experiment. To obtain reliable components we used iterated ICA to estimate component centrotypes. We found that many of the low ranking components indeed may show a strong biological coherence and hence be of biological significance. Generally ICA achieved a higher resolution when compared with results based on correlated expression and a larger number of gene clusters with significantly enriched for gene ontology (GO categories. In addition, components characteristic for molecular subtypes and for tumors with specific chromosomal translocations were identified. ICA also identified more than one gene clusters significant for the same GO categories and hence disclosed a higher level of biological heterogeneity, even within coherent groups of genes. Conclusion Although the ICA approach primarily detects hidden variables, these surfaced as highly correlated genes in time series data and in one instance in the tumor data. This further strengthens the biological relevance of latent variables detected by ICA.

  10. Structural characterization of astaxanthin aggregates as revealed by analysis and simulation of optical spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Liping; Hu, Taoping; Xu, Zhigang

    2017-10-01

    Carotenoids can self-assemble in hydrated polar solvents to form J- or H-type aggregates, inducing dramatic changes in photophysical properties. Here, we measured absorption and emission spectra of astaxanthin in ethanol-water solution using ultraviolet-visible and fluorescence spectrometers. Two types of aggregates were distinguished in mixed solution at different water contents by absorption spectra. After addition of water, all probed samples immediately formed H-aggregates with maximum blue shift of 31 nm. In addition, J-aggregate was formed in 1:3 ethanol-water solution measured after an hour. Based on Frenkel exciton model, we calculated linear absorption and emission spectra of these aggregates to describe aggregate structures in solution. For astaxanthin, experimental results agreed well with the fitted spectra of H-aggregate models, which consisted of tightly packed stacks of individual molecules, including hexamers, trimers, and dimers. Transition moment of single astaxanthin in ethanol was obtained by Gaussian 09 program package to estimate the distance between molecules in aggregates. Intermolecular distance of astaxanthin aggregates ranges from 0.45 nm to 0.9 nm. Fluorescence analysis showed that between subbands, strong exciton coupling induced rapid relaxation of H-aggregates. This coupling generated larger Stokes shift than monomers and J-aggregates.

  11. Quantum mechanical electronic structure calculation reveals orientation dependence of hydrogen bond energy in proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Abhisek; Datta, Saumen

    2017-06-01

    Hydrogen bond plays a unique role in governing macromolecular interactions with exquisite specificity. These interactions govern the fundamental biological processes like protein folding, enzymatic catalysis, molecular recognition. Despite extensive research work, till date there is no proper report available about the hydrogen bond's energy surface with respect to its geometric parameters, directly derived from proteins. Herein, we have deciphered the potential energy landscape of hydrogen bond directly from the macromolecular coordinates obtained from Protein Data Bank using quantum mechanical electronic structure calculations. The findings unravel the hydrogen bonding energies of proteins in parametric space. These data can be used to understand the energies of such directional interactions involved in biological molecules. Quantitative characterization has also been performed using Shannon entropic calculations for atoms participating in hydrogen bond. Collectively, our results constitute an improved way of understanding hydrogen bond energies in case of proteins and complement the knowledge-based potential. Proteins 2017; 85:1046-1055. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Genetic structure in village dogs reveals a Central Asian domestication origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Laura M; Boyko, Ryan H; Castelhano, Marta; Corey, Elizabeth; Hayward, Jessica J; McLean, Corin; White, Michelle E; Abi Said, Mounir; Anita, Baddley A; Bondjengo, Nono Ikombe; Calero, Jorge; Galov, Ana; Hedimbi, Marius; Imam, Bulu; Khalap, Rajashree; Lally, Douglas; Masta, Andrew; Oliveira, Kyle C; Pérez, Lucía; Randall, Julia; Tam, Nguyen Minh; Trujillo-Cornejo, Francisco J; Valeriano, Carlos; Sutter, Nathan B; Todhunter, Rory J; Bustamante, Carlos D; Boyko, Adam R

    2015-11-01

    Dogs were the first domesticated species, originating at least 15,000 y ago from Eurasian gray wolves. Dogs today consist primarily of two specialized groups--a diverse set of nearly 400 pure breeds and a far more populous group of free-ranging animals adapted to a human commensal lifestyle (village dogs). Village dogs are more genetically diverse and geographically widespread than purebred dogs making them vital for unraveling dog population history. Using a semicustom 185,805-marker genotyping array, we conducted a large-scale survey of autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y chromosome diversity in 4,676 purebred dogs from 161 breeds and 549 village dogs from 38 countries. Geographic structure shows both isolation and gene flow have shaped genetic diversity in village dog populations. Some populations (notably those in the Neotropics and the South Pacific) are almost completely derived from European stock, whereas others are clearly admixed between indigenous and European dogs. Importantly, many populations--including those of Vietnam, India, and Egypt-show minimal evidence of European admixture. These populations exhibit a clear gradient of short--range linkage disequilibrium consistent with a Central Asian domestication origin.

  13. Structural imaging reveals anatomical alterations in inferotemporal cortex in congenital prosopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrmann, Marlene; Avidan, Galia; Gao, Fuqiang; Black, Sandra

    2007-10-01

    Congenital prosopagnosia (CP) refers to the lifelong impairment in face recognition in individuals who have intact low-level visual processing, normal cognitive abilities, and no known neurological disorder. Although the face recognition impairment is profound and debilitating, its neural basis remains elusive. To investigate this, we conducted detailed morphometric and volumetric analyses of the occipitotemporal (OT) cortex in a group of CP individuals and matched control subjects using high-spatial resolution magnetic resonance imaging. Although there were no significant group differences in the depth or deviation from the midline of the OT or collateral sulci, the CP individuals evince a larger anterior and posterior middle temporal gyrus and a significantly smaller anterior fusiform (aF) gyrus. Interestingly, this volumetric reduction in the aF gyrus is correlated with the behavioral decrement in face recognition. These findings implicate a specific cortical structure as the neural basis of CP and, in light of the familial history of CP, target the aF gyrus as a potential site for further, focused genetic investigation.

  14. Electronic structure of LBO and BBO as revealed by boron and oxygen RIXS spectra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuusik, I., E-mail: ivark@ut.ee [Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Riia 142, Tartu (Estonia); Käämbre, T. [Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Riia 142, Tartu (Estonia); Kooser, K. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, Turku (Finland); Kikas, A. [Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Riia 142, Tartu (Estonia)

    2013-06-15

    Highlights: ► The RIXS spectra of the widely used nonlinear optical materials LBO and BBO have been measured. ► The confirmation of two different chemical environments of the oxygen atoms in BBO. ► A boron core exciton has been found in both LBO and BBO. -- Abstract: The boron and oxygen core level RIXS (Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering) spectra of LiB{sub 3}O{sub 5} (LBO) and the β phase of BaB{sub 2}O{sub 4} (BBO) have been measured. The RIXS data confirm several band structure calculations and verify the existence of two different oxygen environments in BBO. A boron core exciton level exists in both LBO and BBO. The RIXS spectra excited in the vicinity of the B 1s core resonance show two principal features: the scattering on a valence excitation and scattering on a core excitation. An energy loss sideband to the elastic scattering peak is present when the core exciton is created. The energy loss shoulder appears to result from lattice relaxation in the absorption site.

  15. Revealing structural dynamics in catalytic reactions using ultrafast transient x-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, L. X.; Liu, D.; Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division; Northwestern Univ.

    2009-03-02

    Progression of a typical heterogeneous catalytic process as a function of a reaction parameter such as temperature can often be segmented, according to Fig. 1. Reactants first bind to active sites to form reaction intermediates with increases in temperature and kinetic energy (Region I). Further temperature increase leads to a full 'light-off' of the catalytic conversion and the reaction is dominated by the intra-particulate diffusion (Region II). The characteristic 'light-off' temperature at the boundary of region I and II often defines the activity of the catalyst. At even higher temperature enters the bulk diffusion region (III), where the catalytic reaction is limited mainly by mass transport between different phases. Significant efforts in practical catalyst design involve improving catalytic activities in the kinetic region (I) and reducing the 'light-off' temperature. Reaction rates at the kinetic region are defined by potential saddle points on top of which a series of 'transitional state' complexes are formed between the active sites and the adsorbed reactants (Fig. 2). Capturing structures of the 'transition state complexes' from the active center's perspective will provide ultimate understanding of catalytic mechanisms and insight into new catalyst design. Experimentally, however, it is a very challenging proposition.

  16. Deep crustal structures of eastern China and adjacent seas revealed by magnetic data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Through reduction to the North Pole and upward continuation of the total field magnetic anomalies, we analyze magnetic patterns and spatial distributions of different tectonic blocks and crustal faults in eastern China and adjacent seas. Depths to the Curie isotherms are further estimated from radially averaged amplitude spectra of magnetic data reduced to the pole. Data reductions effectively enhance boundaries of regional tectonic belts, such as the Dabie ultra-high metamorphic belt, the Tanlu Fault, and the Diaoyudao Uplift. Curie depths are estimated at between 19.6 and 48.9 km, with a mean of 31.7 km. The Subei Basin and the south Yellow Sea Basin in the lower Yangtze block show relatively deep Curie isotherms, up to about 35 km in depth, whereas in the surrounding areas Curie depths are averaged at about 25 km. This implies that the lower Yangtze Block has experienced a unique tectonic evolution and/or has unique basement lithology and structures. From a regional perspective, sedimentary basins, such as the Subei Basin, the south Yellow Sea Basin, and the East China Sea Basin, normally show deeper Curie isotherms than surrounding uplifts such as the Diaoyudao Uplift and the Zhemin Uplifts. Curie isotherms also upwell significantly in volcanically active areas such as the Ryukyu Arc and the Cheju Island, confirming strong magmatic and geothermal activities at depth.

  17. What the liar paradox can reveal about the quantum logical structure of our minds

    CERN Document Server

    Bieberich, E

    2001-01-01

    In human consciousness perceptions are distinct or atomistic events despite being perceived by an apparently undivided inner observer. This paper applies both classical (Boolean) and quantum logic to analysis of the Liar paradox which is taken as a typical example of a self-referential negation in the perception space of an undivided observer. The conception of self-referential paradoxes is a unique ability of the human mind still lacking an explanation on the basis of logic. It will be shown that both classical and quantum logics fail to resolve the paradox because of the particle-like (atomistic) nature of physical events in the moments of perception. I suggest a physical mechanism that can deal with our experience of self-referential paradox. Because it is also shown that this cannot be achieved by any previously suggested classical or quantum mechanical operation, the newly proposed mechanism provides a better model than others for an important aspect of the structure of our minds.

  18. Exercise challenge in Gulf War Illness reveals two subgroups with altered brain structure and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rakib U Rayhan

    Full Text Available Nearly 30% of the approximately 700,000 military personnel who served in Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991 have developed Gulf War Illness, a condition that presents with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, autonomic dysfunction, debilitating fatigue and chronic widespread pain that implicate the central nervous system. A hallmark complaint of subjects with Gulf War Illness is post-exertional malaise; defined as an exacerbation of symptoms following physical and/or mental effort. To study the causal relationship between exercise, the brain, and changes in symptoms, 28 Gulf War veterans and 10 controls completed an fMRI scan before and after two exercise stress tests to investigate serial changes in pain, autonomic function, and working memory. Exercise induced two clinical Gulf War Illness subgroups. One subgroup presented with orthostatic tachycardia (n = 10. This phenotype correlated with brainstem atrophy, baseline working memory compensation in the cerebellar vermis, and subsequent loss of compensation after exercise. The other subgroup developed exercise induced hyperalgesia (n = 18 that was associated with cortical atrophy and baseline working memory compensation in the basal ganglia. Alterations in cognition, brain structure, and symptoms were absent in controls. Our novel findings may provide an understanding of the relationship between the brain and post-exertional malaise in Gulf War Illness.

  19. Structure of Human Acid Sphingomyelinase Reveals the Role of the Saposin Domain in Activating Substrate Hydrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Zi-Jian; Huang, Jingjing; Poda, Gennady; Pomès, Régis; Privé, Gilbert G

    2016-07-31

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is a lysosomal phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to produce ceramide and phosphocholine. While other lysosomal sphingolipid hydrolases require a saposin activator protein for full activity, the ASM polypeptide incorporates a built-in N-terminal saposin domain and does not require an external activator protein. Here, we report the crystal structure of human ASM and describe the organization of the three main regions of the enzyme: the N-terminal saposin domain, the proline-rich connector, and the catalytic domain. The saposin domain is tightly associated along an edge of the large, bowl-shaped catalytic domain and adopts an open form that exposes a hydrophobic concave surface approximately 30Å from the catalytic center. The calculated electrostatic potential of the enzyme is electropositive at the acidic pH of the lysosome, consistent with the strict requirement for the presence of acidic lipids in target membranes. Docking studies indicate that sphingomyelin binds with the ceramide-phosphate group positioned at the binuclear zinc center and molecular dynamic simulations indicate that the intrinsic flexibility of the saposin domain is important for monomer-dimer exchange and for membrane interactions. Overall, ASM uses a combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions to cause local disruptions of target bilayers in order to bring the lipid headgroup to the catalytic center in a membrane-bound reaction.

  20. Optical nanoscopy to reveal structural and functional properties of liver cells (Presentation Recording)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCourt, Peter; Huser, Thomas R.; Sørensen, Karen K.; Øie, Cristina I.; Mönkemöller, Viola; Ahluwalia, Balpreet S.

    2015-08-01

    The advent of optical nanoscopy has provided an opportunity to study fundamental properties of nanoscale biological functions, such as liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC) and their fenestrations. The fenestrations are nano-pores (50-200 nm) on the LSEC plasma membrane that allow free passage of molecules through cells. The fenestrated LSEC also hase a voracious appetite for waste molecules, viruses and nanoparticles. LSEC daily remove huge amounts of waste, nanoparticles and virus from the blood. Pharmaceuticals also need to pass through these fenestrations to be activated (e.g. cholesterol reducing statins) or detoxified by hepatocytes. And, when we age, our LSEC fenestrations become smaller and fewer. Today, we study these cells and structures using either conventional light microscopy on living cells, or high-resolution (but static) methods such as transmission and scanning electron microscopy on fixed (i.e. dead) tissue. Such methods, while very powerful, yield no real time information about the uptake of virus or nanoparticles, nor any information about fenestration dynamics. Therefore, to study LS-SEC, we are now using optical nanoscopy methods, and developing our own, to map their functions in 4 dimensions. Attaining this goal will shed new light on the cell biology of the liver and how it keeps us alive. This paper describes the challenges of studying LS-SEC with light microscopy, as well as current and potential solutions to this challenge using optical nanoscopy.

  1. Fine structure of Delia platura (Meigen) (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) revealed by scanning electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi-Ke; Yang, Yan-Zhi; Liu, Mei-Qin; Zhang, Dong

    2014-08-01

    Delia platura (Meigen) is a phytophagous fly that can cause significant crop losses. To obtain a better understanding of the external morphology of this species, adult D. platura is studied using scanning electron microscopy. Organs or structures that are important for taxonomy, such as the compound eyes, spiracles, pulvilli, wings, and genitalia are highlighted to complement previous description based on light microscope. Mesothoracic and metathoracic spiracles of D. platura that provide efficiency in preventing entrance of fine materials or dust into the tracheal system are morphologically different. In addition, the elongate-oval pulvillus is densely covered with tenent setae with spoon-like tip, which can increase the number of contact points for attachment to a surface. Four types of sensilla are observed on the male genitalia of D. platura including: trichoid sensilla, chaetic sensilla, three subtypes of campaniform sensilla, and basiconic sensilla. Long bristles and microtrichiae are observed on the female genitalia of D. platura. The possible function of sensilla located in the genitalia of D. platura is discussed. Microsc. Res. Tech. 77:619-630, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Crystal Structure of Prp5p Reveals Interdomain Interactions that Impact Spliceosome Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Min Zhang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The DEAD-box adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase Prp5p facilitates U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP binding to the intron branch site region during spliceosome assembly. We present crystal structures of S. cerevisiae Prp5p alone and in complex with ADP at 2.12 Å and 1.95 Å resolution. The three-dimensional packing of Prp5p subdomains differs strikingly from that so far observed in other DEAD-box proteins: two RecA-like subdomains adopt an “open state” conformation stabilized by extensive interactions involving sequences that flank the two subdomains. This conformation is distinct from that required for ATP hydrolysis. Consistent with this, Prp5p mutations that destabilize interdomain interactions exhibited increased ATPase activity in vitro and inhibited splicing of suboptimal branch site substrates in vivo, whereas restoration of interdomain interactions reversed these effects. We conclude that the Prp5p open state conformation is biologically relevant and that disruption of the interdomain interaction facilitates a large-scale conformational change of Prp5p during U2 snRNP-branch site recognition.

  3. Network catastrophe: self-organized patterns reveal both the instability and the structure of complex networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Hankyu; Lu, Tsai-Ching

    2015-03-30

    Critical events in society or biological systems can be understood as large-scale self-emergent phenomena due to deteriorating stability. We often observe peculiar patterns preceding these events, posing a question of-how to interpret the self-organized patterns to know more about the imminent crisis. We start with a very general description - of interacting population giving rise to large-scale emergent behaviors that constitute critical events. Then we pose a key question: is there a quantifiable relation between the network of interactions and the emergent patterns? Our investigation leads to a fundamental understanding to: 1. Detect the system's transition based on the principal mode of the pattern dynamics; 2. Identify its evolving structure based on the observed patterns. The main finding of this study is that while the pattern is distorted by the network of interactions, its principal mode is invariant to the distortion even when the network constantly evolves. Our analysis on real-world markets show common self-organized behavior near the critical transitions, such as housing market collapse and stock market crashes, thus detection of critical events before they are in full effect is possible.

  4. Exercise challenge in Gulf War Illness reveals two subgroups with altered brain structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayhan, Rakib U; Stevens, Benson W; Raksit, Megna P; Ripple, Joshua A; Timbol, Christian R; Adewuyi, Oluwatoyin; VanMeter, John W; Baraniuk, James N

    2013-01-01

    Nearly 30% of the approximately 700,000 military personnel who served in Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) have developed Gulf War Illness, a condition that presents with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, autonomic dysfunction, debilitating fatigue and chronic widespread pain that implicate the central nervous system. A hallmark complaint of subjects with Gulf War Illness is post-exertional malaise; defined as an exacerbation of symptoms following physical and/or mental effort. To study the causal relationship between exercise, the brain, and changes in symptoms, 28 Gulf War veterans and 10 controls completed an fMRI scan before and after two exercise stress tests to investigate serial changes in pain, autonomic function, and working memory. Exercise induced two clinical Gulf War Illness subgroups. One subgroup presented with orthostatic tachycardia (n = 10). This phenotype correlated with brainstem atrophy, baseline working memory compensation in the cerebellar vermis, and subsequent loss of compensation after exercise. The other subgroup developed exercise induced hyperalgesia (n = 18) that was associated with cortical atrophy and baseline working memory compensation in the basal ganglia. Alterations in cognition, brain structure, and symptoms were absent in controls. Our novel findings may provide an understanding of the relationship between the brain and post-exertional malaise in Gulf War Illness.

  5. Revealing Soil Structure and Functional Macroporosity along a Clay Gradient Using X-ray Computed Tomography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2013-01-01

    The influence of clay content in soil-pore structure development and the relative importance of macroporosity in governing convective fluid flow are two key challenges toward better understanding and quantifying soil ecosystem functions. In this study, soil physical measurements (soil......-water retention and air permeability) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning were combined and used from two scales on intact soil columns (100 and 580 cm3). The columns were sampled along a natural clay gradient at six locations (L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 and L6 with 0.11, 0.16, 0.21, 0.32, 0.38 and 0.46 kg kg−1...... clay content, respectively) at a field site in Lerbjerg, Denmark. The water-holding capacity of soils markedly increased with increasing soil clay content, while significantly higher air permeability was observed for the L1 to L3 soils than for the L4 to L6 soils. Higher air permeability values...

  6. Brain network analysis reveals affected connectome structure in bipolar I disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collin, Guusje; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Abramovic, Lucija; Vreeker, Annabel; de Reus, Marcel A; van Haren, Neeltje E M; Boks, Marco P M; Ophoff, Roel A; Kahn, René S

    2016-01-01

    The notion that healthy brain function emerges from coordinated neural activity constrained by the brain's network of anatomical connections--i.e., the connectome--suggests that alterations in the connectome's wiring pattern may underlie brain disorders. Corroborating this hypothesis, studies in schizophrenia are indicative of altered connectome architecture including reduced communication efficiency, disruptions of central brain hubs, and affected "rich club" organization. Whether similar deficits are present in bipolar disorder is currently unknown. This study examines structural connectome topology in 216 bipolar I disorder patients as compared to 144 healthy controls, focusing in particular on central regions (i.e., brain hubs) and connections (i.e., rich club connections, interhemispheric connections) of the brain's network. We find that bipolar I disorder patients exhibit reduced global efficiency (-4.4%, P =0.002) and that this deficit relates (r = 0.56, P brain hub connections in general, or of connections spanning brain hubs (i.e., "rich club" connections) in particular (all P > 0.1). These findings highlight a role for aberrant brain network architecture in bipolar I disorder with reduced global efficiency in association with disruptions in interhemispheric connectivity, while the central "rich club" system appears not to be particularly affected.

  7. Characterization of Zebrafish von Willebrand Factor Reveals Conservation of Domain Structure, Multimerization, and Intracellular Storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arunima Ghosh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available von Willebrand disease (VWD is the most common inherited human bleeding disorder and is caused by quantitative or qualitative defects in von Willebrand factor (VWF. VWF is a secreted glycoprotein that circulates as large multimers. While reduced VWF is associated with bleeding, elevations in overall level or multimer size are implicated in thrombosis. The zebrafish is a powerful genetic model in which the hemostatic system is well conserved with mammals. The ability of this organism to generate thousands of offspring and its optical transparency make it unique and complementary to mammalian models of hemostasis. Previously, partial clones of zebrafish vwf have been identified, and some functional conservation has been demonstrated. In this paper we clone the complete zebrafish vwf cDNA and show that there is conservation of domain structure. Recombinant zebrafish Vwf forms large multimers and pseudo-Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs in cell culture. Larval expression is in the pharyngeal arches, yolk sac, and intestinal epithelium. These results provide a foundation for continued study of zebrafish Vwf that may further our understanding of the mechanisms of VWD.

  8. Revealing the Molecular Structural Transformation of Hardwood and Softwood in Dilute Acid Flowthrough Pretreatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Libing; Pu, Yunqiao; Cort, John R.; Ragauskas, Arthur J.; Yang, Bin

    2016-12-05

    To better understand the intrinsic recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass, the main hurdle to its efficient deconstruction, the effects of dilute acid flowthrough pretreatment on the dissolution chemistry of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin for both hardwood (e.g. poplar wood) and softwood (e.g. lodgepole pine wood) were investigated at temperatures of 200 °C to 270 °C and a flow rate of 25 mL/minute with 0.05% (w/w) H2SO4. Results suggested that the softwood cellulose was more readily to be degraded into monomeric sugars than that of hardwood under same pretreatment conditions. However, while the hardwood lignin was completely removed into hydrolysate, ~30% of the softwood lignin remained as solid residues under identical conditions, which was plausibly caused by vigorous C5-active recondensation reactions (C-C5). Unique molecular structural features that pronounced the specific recalcitrance of hardwood and softwood to dilute acid pretreatment were identified for the first time in this study, providing important insights to establish the effective biomass pretreatment.

  9. Structural and effective connectivity reveals potential network-based influences on category-sensitive visual areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas eFurl

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Visual category perception is thought to depend on brain areas that respond specifically when certain categories are viewed. These category-sensitive areas are often assumed to be modules (with some degree of processing autonomy and to act predominantly on feedforward visual input. This modular view can be complemented by a view that treats brain areas as elements within more complex networks and as influenced by network properties. This network-oriented viewpoint is emerging from studies using either diffusion tensor imaging to map structural connections or effective connectivity analyses to measure how their functional responses influence each other. This literature motivates several hypotheses that predict category-sensitive activity based on network properties. Large, long-range fiber bundles such as inferior fronto-occipital, arcuate and inferior longitudinal fasciculi are associated with behavioural recognition and could play crucial roles in conveying backward influences on visual cortex from anterior temporal and frontal areas. Such backward influences could support top-down functions such as visual search and emotion-based visual modulation. Within visual cortex itself, areas sensitive to different categories appear well-connected (e.g., face areas connect to object- and motion sensitive areas and their responses can be predicted by backward modulation. Evidence supporting these propositions remains incomplete and underscores the need for better integration of DTI and functional imaging.

  10. Jupiter's Deep Cloud Structure Revealed Using Keck Observations of Spectrally Resolved Line Shapes

    CERN Document Server

    Bjoraker, G L; de Pater, I; Ádámkovics, M

    2015-01-01

    Technique: We present a method to determine the pressure at which significant cloud opacity is present between 2 and 6 bars on Jupiter. We use: a) the strength of a Fraunhofer absorption line in a zone to determine the ratio of reflected sunlight to thermal emission, and b) pressure-broadened line profiles of deuterated methane (CH3D) at 4.66 microns to determine the location of clouds. We use radiative transfer models to constrain the altitude region of both the solar and thermal components of Jupiter's 5-micron spectrum. Results: For nearly all latitudes on Jupiter the thermal component is large enough to constrain the deep cloud structure even when upper clouds are present. We find that Hot Spots, belts, and high latitudes have broader line profiles than do zones. Radiative transfer models show that Hot Spots in the North and South Equatorial Belts (NEB, SEB) typically do not have opaque clouds at pressures greater than 2 bars. The South Tropical Zone (STZ) at 32 degrees S has an opaque cloud top between 4...

  11. Discrete nuclear structures in actively growing neuroblastoma cells are revealed by antibodies raised against phosphorylated neurofilament proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raabe Timothy D

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nuclear objects that have in common the property of being recognized by monoclonal antibodies specific for phosphoprotein epitopes and cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (in particular, SMI-31 and RT-97 have been reported in glial and neuronal cells, in situ and in vitro. Since neurofilament and glial filaments are generally considered to be restricted to the cytoplasm, we were interested in exploring the identity of the structures labeled in the nucleus as well as the conditions under which they could be found there. Results Using confocal microscopy and western analysis techniques, we determined 1 the immunolabeled structures are truly within the nucleus; 2 the phosphoepitope labeled by SMI-31 and RT-97 is not specific to neurofilaments (NFs and it can be identified on other intermediate filament proteins (IFs in other cell types; and 3 there is a close relationship between DNA synthesis and the amount of nuclear staining by these antibodies thought to be specific for cytoplasmic proteins. Searches of protein data bases for putative phosphorylation motifs revealed that lamins, NF-H, and GFAP each contain a single tyrosine phosphorylation motif with nearly identical amino acid sequence. Conclusion We therefore suggest that this sequence may be the epitope recognized by SMI-31 and RT-97 mABs, and that the nuclear structures previously reported and shown here are likely phosphorylated lamin intermediate filaments, while the cytoplasmic labeling revealed by the same mABs indicates phosphorylated NFs in neurons or GFAP in glia.

  12. Structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin reveals a putative mechanism of conformational activation for protease entrapment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fyfe, Cameron D.; Grinter, Rhys; Josts, Inokentijs; Mosbahi, Khedidja [University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland (United Kingdom); Roszak, Aleksander W. [University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland (United Kingdom); University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland (United Kingdom); Cogdell, Richard J.; Wall, Daniel M.; Burchmore, Richard J. S.; Byron, Olwyn; Walker, Daniel, E-mail: daniel.walker@glasgow.ac.uk [University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2015-06-30

    The X-ray structure of protease-cleaved E. coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. Bacterial α-2-macroglobulins have been suggested to function in defence as broad-spectrum inhibitors of host proteases that breach the outer membrane. Here, the X-ray structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. In this competitive mechanism, protease cleavage of the bait-region domain results in the untethering of an intrinsically disordered region of this domain which disrupts native interdomain interactions that maintain E. coli α-2-macroglobulin in the inactivated form. The resulting global conformational change results in entrapment of the protease and activation of the thioester bond that covalently links to the attacking protease. Owing to the similarity in structure and domain architecture of Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin and human α-2-macroglobulin, this protease-activation mechanism is likely to operate across the diverse members of this group.

  13. Crustal structure beneath the Paleozoic Parnaíba Basin revealed by airborne gravity and magnetic data, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castroa, David L.; Fuck, Reinhardt A.; Phillips, Jeffrey D. Phillips; Vidotti, Roberta M.; Bezerra, Francisco H.R.; Dantas, Elton L.

    2014-01-01

    The Parnaíba Basin is a large Paleozoic syneclise in northeastern Brazil underlain by Precambrian crystalline basement, which comprises a complex lithostructural and tectonic framework formed during the Neoproterozoic–Eopaleozoic Brasiliano–Pan African orogenic collage. A sag basin up to 3.5 km thick and 1000 km long formed after the collage. The lithologic composition, structure, and role in the basin evolution of the underlying basement are the focus of this study. Airborne gravity and magnetic data were modeled to reveal the general crustal structure underneath the Parnaíba Basin. Results indicate that gravity and magnetic signatures delineate the main boundaries and structural trends of three cratonic areas and surrounding Neoproterozoic fold belts in the basement. Triangular-shaped basement inliers are geophysically defined in the central region of this continental-scale Neoproterozoic convergence zone. A 3-D gravity inversion constrained by seismological data reveals that basement inliers exhibit a 36–40.5 km deep crustal root, with borders defined by a high-density and thinner crust. Forward modeling of gravity and magnetic data indicates that lateral boundaries between crustal units are limited by Brasiliano shear zones, representing lithospheric sutures of the Amazonian and São Francisco Cratons, Tocantins Province and Parnaíba Block. In addition, coincident residual gravity, residual magnetic, and pseudo-gravity lows indicate two complex systems of Eopaleozoic rifts related to the initial phase of the sag deposition, which follow basement trends in several directions.

  14. Structures of BmrR-Drug Complexes Reveal a Rigid Multidrug Binding Pocket And Transcription Activation Through Tyrosine Expulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newberry, K.J.; Huffman, J.L.; Miller, M.C.; Vaz